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Ottawa fire facing winter congestion on roadways

The fire service struggles with accessing certain areas with high snow piles in the city, due to the size and width of the trucks.
2017-10-01 Ottawa Fire truck MV-3
Ottawa Fire Services truck, 2017. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

This winter weather has proven to be a challenge, not only for Ottawa's road crews, but emergency service workers too.

The capital has been hit by snowfall after snowfall, with the next winter storm system expected to bring up wards of 40 cm to the city, Tuesday.

This has created giant snow mounds in communities, shrinking the size of roadways.

"The challenges that are most often issues for our service is the access for our vehicles," Danielle Cardinal, Information Officer for Ottawa fire service, tells 1310 NEWS.

"A vehicle is eight feet in width, so we need at least 3.5 metres or 11 feet on a street to get our vehicles safely through," she added.

A lot of the time the service has to redirect their route to get to an emergency.

"If it's a high level emergency we will have more than one crew responding, so we can indicate to incoming crews to use other roadways if one particular roadway is obstructed," said Cardinal.

With a possible record-breaking snow amount about to hit the city, Cardinal is asking for residents to take two seconds to check if a fire truck, ambulance, or police vehicle has enough room to get through.


Jeff Slack

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