For safety’s sake, stop that ambulance

Rick Laporte, a 46-year-old Canadian man, had suffered a heart attack and was being rushed fromAmbulance
Windsor, Ontario, to a Detroit hospital for an emergency angioplasty. But when his ambulance reached the border, it was stopped for one of those random checks, even though it had a police escort and had been pre-cleared.   

The man driving the ambulance was asked to show his documents to the
guard and then Laporte was asked to verbally identify himself.

Laporte, 46, had already been revived twice, according to media reports. [Link]

I’m never going to complain about U.S. border officials questioning me. If they can stop a dying man, they can stop anyone.

Meanwhile, Laporte’s girlfriend, Kat Lauzon, said he’s out of intensive care and doing well back in Windsor.

She’s still struggling to understand what happened at the border and is calling for issue to be addressed.

"I don’t think it was right, and I’m really angry that someone would
even think to pull in an ambulance where someone is dying in the back.
I really can’t get my head around that," she told CBC News.

She said Laporte is also upset about the border delay but can do little while he is recuperating.

"He doesn’t have enough energy to, you know, run down the street with a sign in his hand," she said. [Link]

If he did, I wonder what his sign would say: "No, I don’t have a bomb, you idiots, but my heart is about to explode!"

The incident was the second such border delay in an emergency situation in just over a week.

On Nov. 11, six volunteer firefighters from Lacolle, Que., were
called to help fight a fire at a historic hotel called Anchorage Inn in
Rouses Point, N.Y.

A U.S. border guard held them up for several minutes while he checked their identification.

By the time the firefighters reached the hotel, the building had burned to the ground.

There is a bilateral agreement that allows Canadian firefighters to
respond to U.S. emergencies, but New York officials said the guard was
probably unaware of it. [Link]

The building burned down, but at least America was protected.

Reporter: "Did you really think those firefighters might be terrorists?"

Guard: "Why ever not? They learned how to fly a plane. I’m sure they could learn how to drive a firetruck."

Photo by PnP!

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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