Essex-Windsor Ambulances Change Light Colours in Name of Safety

Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Services is in the process of switching red flashing lights to blue on its vehicles in the name of safety.

The change follows amendments to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act last year, allowing ambulance and fire trucks to use blue lights like police. Chief Bruce Krauter says research shows blue lights are more visible compared to red and yellow lights.

Windsor Fire and Rescue made the switch to blue lights in 2017 and Windsor police a few years before that. Krauter is thrilled to be able to follow suit.

"On a bright sunny day they can sometimes get washed out and you can't really see them from a long distance away. Also, the white lights at night kind of wash into the streetlights or headlights, so it's just a matter of increasing safety," he says. "It's a move forward that eventually will have the entire fleet moved over to blue and red, that will include our other support vehicles and response vehicles as well."

Regardless of the colour, Krauter took the opportunity to remind motorists to stay alert.

"Keep your eyes on your mirrors and out in front. If you see emergency lights flashing, pull to the right and stop," says Krauter. "Everybody will appreciate that and you could save a life."

Krauter tells AM800 News the cost of the lights is minimal with the service in the midst of updating its fleet over the next several years.

Seven ambulances already have the new blue lights installed.