Parents: Paramedic refused to speak English to daughter

The Canadian parents had called an ambulance for their seizing daughter and say the responding paramedic would only speak French to them


MONTREAL, Canada — An internal investigation has been launched after an angry couple in Canada said a responding paramedic refused to speak to them in English.

Mark Bergeron said his 2-year-old daughter was having a seizure when he called for an ambulance. One of the paramedics who arrived began asking him questions in French, according to CTV News.

Bergeron explained to the paramedic that even though he is bilingual, he felt more comfortable having the conversation in English as he was afraid he'd misunderstand the French technical terms.

The paramedic, Bergeron said, refused to speak English and was hostile toward him.

"I had to address him in the language that he was comfortable with in this situation, which in my opinion is completely unacceptable," he told CTV News.

Immediately after the incident, Bergeron filed a complaint with the ambulance service. The service told him that there is no law in Quebec that requires paramedics to speak both English and French and that the priority was providing care for the girl, not language.

An internal investigation will be examining if politics played into the paramedic's reported actions.

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