Fire, EMS Deal With Hwy. 40 Closure

Chatham-Kent fire truck. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

There could be slow response times during a seven-month closure of the Hwy. 40 interchange at Hwy. 401 in Chatham-Kent.

But it’s all circumstantial.

“It just depends on where the accident is, where the resources are when it happens, and how close the accident is to these emergency access points,” says Assistant Chief Bob Davidson with Fire and Emergency Services.

Emergency access points are in place for fire trucks and ambulances in reduced-lane areas, as part of a plan to ensure emergency services can get to an accident as quickly as possible.

“Obviously there’ll be some challenges with the reduced lanes in terms of, if there’s an accident, to the actual accident point,” he says. “So we’ve put plans in place for that, to try to mitigate the issue as best we can.”

Davidson says, after several meetings with the contractor, he doesn’t anticipate the closure will be as big an issue as it may appear to be, noting emergency vehicles will still be able to transition across Hwy. 401 via Kent Bridge, Harwich Rd., Charing Cross Rd. and Bloomfield Rd.

He adds there are eight fire stations south of the 401, and another 11 stations north of the highway, and ambulance resources north and south too.

“We’re pretty confident we’ll be able to meet any typical emergencies that come up,” says Davidson.

-With files from Paul Pedro