Our BS, eh?

A Canadian's musings on life in RBS-A (Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph), Israel and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sorry, Canada, about a Valid Homeland Security Measure

Heart Attack Patient Held Up at Border
Canada calls for review of border security after incident
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - A report says Canada is calling for a review of border security after an ambulance transporting a heart attack patient from Windsor to a Detroit hospital was delayed.

Last Monday, Rick Laport, 46, was being rushed to Detroit for an emergency angioplasty. The ambulance was stopped by U.S. customs and the driver and Laport were required to identify themselves.

CTV News reports Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has expressed concern and asked for a review of border procedures in a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. CTV says Day asked Chertoff that border procedures be reviewed.

Laport's wife, Kat Lauzon, says he could have died because of the five-minute delay. “We need something done about this,” Lauzon told CTV. “Not one person should die because of that type of miscommunication, or whatever you want to call it.”

New Democrat MP Brian Masse told CTV that “it's another sad chapter of what's happening at the border.” The ambulance incident was second such incident recently at a U.S. border crossing.

Last Sunday, volunteer firefighters rushing from Quebec to assist a small-town fire department in upper New York State were held up while being grilled about their identification. While they were delayed for up to 15 minutes, the landmark Anchorage Inn in Rouses Point, N.Y., burned to the ground.

11-19-07 07:02 EST

Now I'll be the first to point out some of the stupidities of Homeland Security, specifically some TSA behaviour at airports, about which I do not need to elaborate. However, I have to side with the US on this one.

The fact that the city of Windsor couldn't handle its own heart attack patient or angioplasty, such that they had to rush him to Detroit - now THAT is why this man might have died. While many US politicians marvel at Canada's "free" health system, here is an example of one its drawbacks. My "favourite" is about a man running in a fundraising race for a Toronto hospital. At the finish line right in front of the hospital, the runner had a asthma attack or something like that. But Toronto hospitals rotate their ER days and this hospital was not on duty that day. So they routed him to the nearest one that was 10 minutes away! He died en route. Some thanks he got for fundraising for that hospital, eh?

The US is not responsible for Canada's medical crisis and does not have to jeopardize its security by giving carte blanche entry to every ambulance that shows up at the border. How difficult would it be for terrorists or other criminals to steal one and use it to cross a border un-checked? Besides, a 5 min. delay ain't bad.

Sorry Canada, this one's your fault in my book.