Snowplow likely to blame for Waterloo fire truck delay at LRT crossing

It appears that a snowplow is to blame for the Waterloo Fire Truck that was delayed in reaching a medical emergency by the downed railway gate early Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday morning at about 2:30 a.m., a firetruck was dispatched from Northfield Fire Station for a medical emergency, according to Waterloo Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Schubert.

“It was a medical emergency and our crew was responding from fire station 3 encountered the gate down, heading eastbound and immediately requested another unit to respond to that same emergency,” he explained.

It was unclear what the emergency was, although Schubert confirmed that it did not lead to any major issues as EMS and police were also dispatched on the call.

A spokesperson for Keolis, the company which operates and maintains the ION system for Grand River Transit, says the incident remains under investigation.

“The LRT crossing gates on Northfield Drive West were activated without a train present,” Gurjeet Kaur said.

“An LRT maintenance snowplow was present on the tracks at the time the gates were activated,” she explained.

“Our control room was aware of the activation of gates and was in communication with fire dispatch.

“Our control room immediately commenced investigation of cause and corrective actions.”

Schubert says there are procedures in place to deal with such issues as fire trucks are often forced to deal with delays caused by railway crossings and other such issues.

“The computer-aided dispatch system will actually automatically select the next closest unit to respond to that emergency,” he explained.

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