Metro Vancouver first responders say icy conditions around the region are making it hard to do their jobs.
Dave Leary with the Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia says slippery roads and walkways could cost them the precious seconds that sometimes lie between life and death.
“Accessing people’s properties, to deal with their pathways, sidewalks and driveways, that can be quite challenging also, trying to get our stretchers and equipment into these homes and then, you know, transporting these patients and getting them out of their homes and into our ambulances and to the hospital in a timely fashion.”
Leary says not only the snow and ice affect response times, but vehicles without the proper tires slow them down as well.
He says to help them do their jobs, to keep pathways cleared and check on your elderly neighbours.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Assistant Fire Chief Peter Bridge says it’s been smooth sailing for trucks in the downtown core.
But, he says it’s a different story for other areas of the city.
“Up in the areas of Shaughnessy, in around the Vancouver Heights area, Boundary Road and Hastings Street, and up in around 22nd, and Newcombe, we still have icy conditions on the streets.”
Bridge says the crews are prepared with chain apparatuses in case tonight sees thick ice on the roads.
“On a scale from one to 10, my concern right now is probably at a four, but if night rolls in and it does go below freezing, I go to a 12 on that scale.”
But, he says even with the fire engines being prepped with chains, it’s still hard to get to emergencies in a quick time.
“Any icy conditions [it’s] hard to get places because we have to drive a little slower, a little more careful so are response times are a little slower.”
He says, while traffic is light this afternoon, he hopes it remains that way for this evening.