Ambulance Crashes After Canada Medics Fall Asleep

An ambulance rolled into a ditch Tuesday morning after the Manitoba medic behind the wheel fell asleep.

Manitoba EMS officials told The Winnipeg Free Press it is a "common" case of work-induced fatigue for paramedics who work in a rural area.

"I believe it can be related to a fatigue issue," said Wayne Chacun, who is a paramedic in Virden and represents paramedics in the Manitoba Government Employees Union, about the accident which happened just before 7 a.m. "They didn’t get a chance to have any sleep."

Neither of the medics were hurt.

They were returning after dropping off a patient when the crash occurred. Both are full-time employees. However, they also are expected to be on call after their regular shifts.

"The pager went off seven times," Chacun told the paper, explaining that is the reason they both were short on sleep.

Chacun added that there is a shortage of paramedics in rural areas because paramedics are paid 35 per cent less than those who work in Winnipeg.