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EHS launches program to mark vehicles abandoned at roadside

EHS has launched a new program that will see paramedics wrap abandoned cars in blue tape after they have removed a patient or determined there is no one in the vehicle.
EHS has launched a new program that will see paramedics wrap abandoned cars in blue tape after they have removed a patient or determined there is no one in the vehicle. - Computer screen shot

Emergency Health Services has launched a new program that will see paramedics wrap abandoned cars in blue tape after they have removed a patient or determined there is no one in the vehicle.

The program is primarily for use during events like wind storms, blizzards or flooding, when it may not be possible to have a vehicle towed right away after it has gone off the road or been abandoned.

That means that several people might report thesame vehicle being off the road but give varyingdescriptions of the vehicle or location that wouldmake it difficult for dispatchers to know if

it has already been checked. If someone can see that it is wrapped in tape, it could prevent putting emergency crews out on the road in bad weather repeatedly for something they have already checked on.

The program has been in the works for years but was only launched Tuesday by EHS with a video on its Facebook page.

EHS spokeswoman Brianna LeBlanc said the program, run in partnership with the province’s Emergency Management Office, has been ready to go for about a month now, but there haven’t been any situations in which it has been needed.

“The blue tape just indicates that it has been checked by a first responder and you don’t need to call 911,” she said. “But we wantto stress that if someone is not sure if they see blue tape, they should always call 911.”

Those who take 911 calls will ask whether any tape is visible on a vehicle, she said.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said RCMP don’t have a policy, but as a practice they will try to wrap a vehicle in yellow police tape if they have found it abandoned or if it can’t be towed for some time.

“It’s freeing up resources that can be used for other emergencies,” he said.

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