A Saskatoon paramedic is echoing concerns many are expressing this week over a lack of safety on a stretch of Highway 5 between Saskatoon and Humboldt.
The conversation was reignited after a 28-year-old Saskatoon man was killed on the icy roadway near the Clavet turnoff Wednesday morning.
The road is known for being very narrow, having a lot of hills and no shoulder for drivers to pull over.
Brett Hart, an advanced care paramedic MD, said dealing with traffic can be problematic for first responders attending crashes on the highway.
“Once you get the idea into your head of what you’re going to, then you have to strategically think in your mind, ‘Well how am I going to place the ambulance so we don’t get hit?” Hart said.
Hart noted that often times, most of the effort in responding to a call goes directly into keeping paramedics safe.
“There’s a few opportunities where we are the first ones there and the only ones. So my partner takes care of the patient, while we have to kind of watch traffic,” Hart said.
“You can’t take care of the patient if you become one.”
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench told 650 CKOM Wednesday the road has been bad for years, and that there’s “no room for error.”
Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways, David Marit, said he understands the concerns people have about road.
“I’ve been on it quite a few times. It’s a very narrow highway and it’s very hilly,” Marit said.
“So we really have to look at some structural design on widening it. We’ll be consulting with municipalities along the way.”
He said the provincial government has plans to twin Highway 5 coming out of Saskatoon to Junction 316, east of the city.
There are also plans to widen the highway from the Junction 316 to Highway 2.
“Right now we’re just in the design stage. I’m hoping that within a year or two we can start some construction out there,” Marit said.
The province announced Wednesday that several passing lanes on Highway 5 had opened recently between Highway 2 and Humboldt to improve safety.
However, they were still in the planning phase for improvements on the stretch between Highway 2 and Saskatoon, which includes installing wider shoulders and intermittent passing lanes.