Eganville – Emergency responders from the North Algona Wilberforce (NAW) Fire department, County of Renfrew paramedic service and the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP were sent out on what ended up being a wild goose chase tying up important resources for at least half an hour and resulting in financial implications.
Fire Chief Kevin Champ said the Rankin Station was dispatched to a reported single-vehicle collision at the intersection of Highway 41 and Mountain Road.
“I can’t shed much light on it because I still don’t know what the heck was going on,” he told The Leader Tuesday. “Somebody called it in, we responded with our normal complement, and when we arrived on scene, there was nothing there.
“I saw the ambulance heading down Mountain Road, so I followed them, then they turned around and came back to me,” he added. “It really was quite a gong show.”
He also sent personnel along Lake Dore Road and north and south on Highway 41. Chief Champ added the paramedics used their drone to get an overhead view and nothing was found.
“It wasn’t up in the air very long before they decided they weren’t going to find anybody,” he said.
Chief Champ believes there was possibly three ambulances and a supervisor’s vehicle, in addition to the OPP vehicles. The fire department responded with four apparatus and seven personnel.
He said dispatch had confirmed there was no one trapped.
“I don’t know if it was a crank call or not,” he said. “It’s possible someone was in the ditch and got themselves out and left the scene.
“But that’s just speculation on my part,” he added.
He said as messages from dispatch continued, the seriousness of the incident seemed to lessen.
Chief Champ estimates the cost to the NAW ratepayers for the search was in the area of $350 which cannot be recouped.