First responders concerned about delays caused by drivers that don't move over
Published Friday, March 19, 2010 9:47AM CST
First responders say it's taking them too long to respond to emergency calls because some drivers don't get out of the way of emergency vehicles.
"People just aren't moving over to the right and (aren't) stopping for us," says Ryan Yackel, a fire truck driver.
Terry Gray, another fire truck driver, says crews have to be on guard on the road all the time while trying to get to emergencies.
Distracted drivers can pose a danger to first responders, say officials.
Gray recounts an incident where his fire truck narrowly missed a collision.
"A driver from quite a distance away just didn't see us at all. And had I pulled into that intersection, that driver would have hit us for sure," says Gray.
In September 2008 a fire truck responding to an emergency call collided with a pickup truck on Redwood Avenue near Andrews Street. A woman in the truck died of injures.
In 2008, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service reported 62 crashes responding to emergency calls and in 2009, there were 40.
The Winnipeg Police Service says in 2008 that 24 of its vehicles were in collisions with motorists while responding to emergency calls. In 2009, 11 of its vehicles were involved in crashes from the start of January until the end of October.
Along with posing hazards for causing possible collisions, vehicles that don't move out of the way for emergency crews also cause delays as first responders try to navigate around them.
First responders say every driver should move to the right and come to a complete stop when emergency crews are responding to calls.
Officials say people also need to be aware of their surroundings so they're not caught off guard.
Ryan Yackel says if everyone put in a good effort, it would save first responders multiple minutes responding to emergency calls.
- with a report from CTV's Caroline Barghout