Chatham-Kent EMS are starting to add blue lights to their fleet of vehicles.
The Ministry of Transportation has made amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to allow Ontario Fire Service and Paramedic Service Units to be equipped with blue lights. Up until these amendments, the only emergency vehicles allowed to use blue lights were police services.
Traditionally paramedic units have used red and white flashing lights, but safety research has shown that the combination of blue and red are more noticeable to motorists.
These modifications are designed to get the attention of motorists and improve safety for the general public, patients being transported by ambulance, and paramedics.
The human eye sees blue more brightly at night and there will be a contrast with the taillights of other vehicles.
Chatham-Kent EMS’s three newest ambulance units, which are equipped with the blue lighting package, are now being put into service.
“This welcomed change will enhance the safety of our paramedics and patients, and aligns with our priority to implement and maintain evidence based best practice” general manager Donald MacLellan said in a media release.
Motorists are still required to pull over to the nearest curb and stop when approached from any direction by any emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated.
Moving forward, blue emergency lights will become standard equipment on all new vehicles acquired by the paramedic service.