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Calgary EMS safety alert issued after aggressive acts toward ambulances

Calgary police say they’re investigating several concerning reports of aggressive drivers following ambulances in the city.

A safety alert was sent to Calgary Zone EMS staff on Oct. 14, informing them of “aggressive” interactions with an unknown member of the public.

In their memo, AHS said one individual is described as a dark-skinned male with “poofy” hair. The vehicle involved is described as an older model, dark-coloured Toyota 4 Runner. This person may approach and try to engage in verbal conflict.

Calgary police said three youth believed to be connected to one of the incidents were taken into custody on Oct. 5. No further details can be released because they are youth, police said.

“The investigation into the other occurrences is ongoing,” the Calgary police response read.

The Alberta Health Services memo said the incidents have been escalating in severity. Recent behaviour includes rude hand gestures to staff, “brake checking” vehicles, tailgating and following through red lights and trying to block an ambulance.

No one has been physically assaulted or injured, according to the memo.

As a result, AHS Protective Services have increased patrols around the EMS Stonegate and Southgate facilities.

Further precautions being taken

Some EMS workers told LiveWire Calgary they’re aware of these incidents. Workers said they deal with a variety of challenging situations every day, and while this elevates their awareness, they weren’t overly concerned with the incidents at this time.

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the union representing Calgary EMS workers, said they’re aware of the situation. They said no spokesperson was available to talk, but that no members had brought concerns forward.

Still, the AHS Memo encouraged EMS workers to leave the end of their shift in pairs. They also said to scan the area looking for suspicious people.

Safe walks are also being provided to staff upon request.

“Staff are strongly to not wear their uniform to and from work or to ensure their uniform is covered with a jacket, etc. when in a personal vehicle,” the memo read.

“The concern is this individual may see the uniform and target you in your personal vehicle where you have fewer communication resources.”

They’re also asking workers to report anything suspicious.