A naked man stole an ambulance Friday morning before crashing the emergency vehicle into a cultural centre about a block later.
According to a credible source, medical personnel were in the West End when they came across a man believed to be on meth and needing help. When they stopped their ambulance and got out, the man, who was not dressed, managed to get in the ambulance and drive away.
The driver then crashed the vehicle into the wall of the Portuguese Cultural Centre on Young Street.
Fire paramedic Chief John Lane confirmed most of those details Friday.
He said the man threatened paramedics, who then pressed their emergency button to call police. Very shortly after, the ambulance was stolen and crashed.
“We’re very grateful that nobody suffered any — that none of the crews, none of the public, apart from the individual — suffered any injury in this incident,” said Lane.
The man is recovering and getting help, he added.
Asked about recent thefts of first responder vehicles in past, he said there are methods to prevent these things from happening.
“Yes, there are safeguards in place,” said Lane, adding that he wouldn’t go into details.
“This call, first of all, the crew happened upon it, second of all, it deteriorated within 70 seconds,” he said.
Lane would not confirm if the man was taking methamphetamine, citing privacy rules.
While it’s not ideal to have a unit taken out of commission, especially during a pandemic, there is a spare pool for when ambulances break down, said Lane.