GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Guilford County Operations Manager Billy Livingston says since July of 2015 there have been 15 accidents involving their ambulances.
The most recent one was Wednesday when police say a taxi collided with an ambulance.
Greensboro police have determined that the taxi driver was at fault. At the time of the crash, the ambulance was transporting a patient to the hospital.
The patient did not sustain any injuries as a result of that crash, but one of the first responders inside the ambulance was taken to the hospital and is recovering from his injuries.
At the time of the crash, the ambulance was not operating on an emergency route—meaning the vehicle did not have its lights or sirens on—which Livingston says is normal.
In fact, the majority of Guilford County’s ambulance transports don’t require the use of lights and sirens. That’s why Livingston says drivers should use the assumption that any time they see an ambulance that there’s someone likely in there getting treatment while in route to a hospital facility.
Of the 15 crashes involving ambulances over the last eight months—seven of them the ambulances were parked and struck by a vehicle, while eight of them were moving on the road (two of which were using their lights and sirens).
“The most dangerous place we operate is on the roadways,” Livingston said. He says when you see the lights and sirens move to the right side of the road. And if you see an ambulance on the road in general, be mindful and careful around it. “Be aware that the ambulance behind you may likely have somebody in the back that needs medical care and if it's involved in an accident then it delays their assessment at a treatment facility.”
The department responds to an average of 192 calls a day and have 35 ambulances.