Richmond ambulance involved in Hull Street Road crash

Posted at 12:10 PM, Sep 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-11 19:55:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Emergency crews responded to a crash near the intersection of Hull Street Road and Belt Boulevard in South Richmond.

Images from the scene show a damaged Richmond Ambulance Authority vehicle and at least one other car.

Richmond Ambulance Authority 01

A Richmond ambulance was headed to a 911 call with its flashing emergency lights and sirens blaring.

While on their way to the call  police say the driver of a red sedan failed to yield and slammed into the ambulance.

Officers say the driver and two kids under the age of five were taken to the hospital with  minor injuries.

"We are mandated to respond with lights and sirens," said Rob Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer. "We were able to confirm that the crew were following the procedures we set down for safe vehicle operations," said Lawrence.

Some westbound lanes of Hull Street Road were closed as police investigate and clean-up crews work to clear the area.

That's because ambulance operators are monitored once they get behind the wheel.

"It means we can assess how safely vehicles are being operated on the streets of Richmond," said Lawrence.

The technology were installed in the Authority's fleet of vehicles.

"So, if there's ever any question or in the worst case scenario, if we have a vehicle contact.  We can go back into the system and see what the vehicle was doing at that exact moment in time," said Lawrence.

The system records the operators driving patterns, like how fast the person is going, if they're wearing a seat belt, and using the vehicles flashing lights and sirens.​

Lawrence says it's more than just responding to an emergency call.

"We very much believe in the culture of safety.  So, we train our vehicle operators to be as safe as they possibly can," said Lawrence.

Lawrence says the system will also warn operators when they reach the driving limits set by the Ambulance Authority.

The system was installed more than two decades ago, at a cost of $3,000 a piece for each vehicle.

The city of Richmond was the first in the country to do it.

The Richmond Ambulance Authority is considering putting cameras inside of the vehicles.

This is a developing story.