Winnipeg, Manitoba — Manitoban drivers gave the rest of Canada a crash course in not ending up on a crash course, as officials reported that calls for emergency assistance were uncharacteristically low despite this week’s blizzard.
News that 25 centimetres of snow is on the way for mid-April can be hard to accept, but drivers in Manitoba are being commended for taking it in-stride and preparing themselves well for the severe weather headed their way.
“The call volumes into our medical transportation centre in Brandon have actually been quite low, which is fantastic to hear,” said Dr. Rob Grierson, chief medical officer of emergency services for Shared Health.
“This storm didn’t come out of the blue. I think people were prepared for it and people have actually been staying home, which is fantastic.”
As a result of preemptive road closures, Grierson said there wasn’t a single medical call relating to a crash between midnight and mid-afternoon Wednesday.
In his interview with Global News, Greirson also reminded drivers that an emergency situation is no time to be polite and that slower response times due to weather shouldn’t deter people from calling 911.
“I hope that people feel if they have to call 911, you call. With the highways the way they are, if we can get to you, we will definitely get to you. It might take a little bit longer,” he said.
Cpl. Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP confirmed Greirson’s assessment of Wednesday, saying “I’m happy to report that people have been staying home for the most part. We’ve hardly seen any collisions or any vehicles that are stranded out there.
“We’re really happy people planned ahead and took the precautions necessary.”
CAA Manitoba reported a lower call volume on Wednesday, reporting a total of 106 calls province-wide, compared to an average of 400.