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Kingston Fire & Rescue water-tanker shuttle accreditation this Saturday may impact rural traffic

September 27, 2018 -

Kingston residents may see emergency vehicles on Highway 15, as well as parts of Creekford and Westbrook roads this Saturday, as Kingston Fire & Rescue completes its water-tanker shuttle accreditation.

"This is a mandatory exercise to ensure Kingston Fire & Rescue can provide a specific amount of water to rural parts of the city for a designated amount of time," says Melanie Jones, chief training officer with Kingston Fire & Rescue.

Rural areas often do not have fire hydrants, and fire departments need to be able to demonstrate their ability to serve those areas in the event of a fire emergency. This testing happens every five years.  

"The successful completion of this process maintains current insurance rates for the areas in the city that are non-hydrated," says Jones.

The first test will take place in the east end of the city. Water tankers will travel on Highway 15 between Innovation Park Drive and 2073 Hwy. 15 (Green Tractor), between 9 and 11:30 a.m.

The second test will be in the west end, and tankers will travel on Creekford Road (west of Gardiners Road) north on to Westbrook Road, between 1:30. and 4 p.m.

Motorists can continue to travel in these areas while the test is underway. "But if you see or hear a fire vehicle approaching, please respond appropriately," says Jones. "And if you do not need to travel in these areas, please take alternate routes to free up the roadway for the fire vehicles," she adds.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation outlines how to respond to an emergency vehicle that is responding to a call:

  • Slow down, signal and move to the right. Traffic in all directions must yield to emergency vehicles.
  • If possible, pull as close as you can to the right side of the roadway and stop when safe to do so.
  • Don't block the intersection.
  • If an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind you, don't make a left turn – proceed straight through the intersection, then pull to the right and stop.
  • Do not follow the emergency vehicle.

Kingston Police will be lending their help to ensure the road is safe for everyone. 

To learn more about how to react if you encounter an emergency vehicle responding to a call, please consult the Ministry of Transportation website.