Working out bugs with new paramedic trucks

South Stormont Coun. Dave Smith, left, speaks with paramedic Steve Smith on July 31, 2015. Steve Smith was performing his 12-hour shift, stationed at the entrance to the Long Sault Parkway. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

LONG SAULT – If you have wondered where the new Paramedic Response Units (PRUs) have been in South Stormont and South Glengarry you’re not alone.

South Stormont Coun. Dave Smith was also puzzled after the trucks were supposed to be on the road for nearly a week.

“On my daily visits to all the businesses and places, people know that I’m all over the place and they ask me questions. I like to have the answers for them and the right answers,” Coun. Smith told Cornwall Newswatch Friday.

Smith met with Paramedic Steve Smith as he was stationed for his 12-hour shift outside the entrance to the Long Sault Parkway. The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe PRU was being used Friday.

Paramedic Smith explained to the councillor there were some operational issues with the new 2015 vehicles, namely fixing some bugs with the GPS vehicle tracking system, called Aceteck. It’s an elaborate GPS system which monitors speed, where the vehicle is, battery power, fuel levels, g-forces in turns and braking. There’s also an issue with the Eco Mode system.

“(It) allows us to run the vehicle with all the lights on. It’s a system that you turn on and, you can shut the vehicle off and it turns it back on when it needs to be at a certain temperature and it monitors the battery power so you’re not leaving it (the truck) idling all the time,” Paramedic Smith explained. It also allows a paramedic to take the keys and lock the truck and it will still start up and operate to keep the battery charged and the internal environment regulated.

The paramedic also explained the EMS department rotates the vehicles between the city and the counties in order to keep the mileage about the same – something called fleet management. The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe PRU on site Friday has about 40,000 kilometers.

The explanation put most of the concerns to bed for Coun. David Smith. “As far as the rotation, yes, when he says there’s a glitch in the new trucks it makes sense that the management team (in the city) should have those. I’m satisfied that just because we haven’t seen a rotation, I know why we haven’t seen a rotation.”

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