Hampshire Fire & Rescue recently began an campaign using recorded footage to show drivers that during an emergency call out they require plenty of room and awareness from nearby drivers.
‘I need my space’
The safety campaign entitled ‘I need my space’ looks to curtail the rising numbers of vehicles hindering the progress of fire services trying to attend emergency call outs. Fire crews are concerned at the growing number of motorists blocking roads during emergencies.
Spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Assistant Chief Officer Andy Bowers said “The issue of motorists blocking the paths of emergency services vehicles is worse than ever before. Some drivers are parking opposite one another making an entire road inaccessible while others are actually stopping by station exits, often in the hatched areas, and some are even leaving their cars on our grounds.”
“Please also remember that although you may only hear one siren, there may regularly be more than one emergency vehicle responding. These issues are causing delays and when tackling a fire or cutting somebody out of a car this can be the difference between life and death.”
The service has come up with a 3 golden rules to make sure when you hear a siren you give the emergency services the best chance to reach their destination quickly. They are:
- Stay Calm: Rather than veer away or speed up to find somewhere to pull over, remain calm and think about where you can safely move.
- Stay Alert: You may not immediately see a fire engine so turn down loud music and take a good look in your mirrors. Remember, there may be more than one!
- Be Responsive: Indicate to let the approaching fire crews know where you intend to move. Once passed you shouldn’t need to make any difficult manoeuvres to continue along.
A poor example of reacting to a fire engine
The duty of the services
Fire crews will have advanced driving training which allows them to control their vehicle at speed on difficult roads. As such this allows them to be able to break certain rules of the road when responding to an emergency situation. All emergency services are allowed to do so if responding to an emergency but still owe a duty of care to the general public.
Fire crews responding to an emergency should always have their lights and sirens on to warn cars of their approach. They should also never endanger other road users by driving recklessly. If you see a fire engine behind you, you will often find they slow down at junctions and roundabouts to give drivers a chance to stop or move out of the way.
Should a fire crew not carry out this duty while responding to an emergency, such as not using lights or a siren (or speeding/ driving on the wrong side of the road when not an emergency) then you do have legal options should there be a collision.
What happens when duty fails?
Emergency services are experienced and will do everything they can to reach a situation safely. If however on occasion they are negligent in their duty and do not ensure your safety you can get in touch with Scott Rees & Co to ensure you gain rightful compensation for your injuries.
Nobody needs to be intimidated by making a claim against the emergency services or the government if they have not done their duty to keep you safe. If you, a family member or friend has suffered due to the emergency services not ensuring your safety (emergency or not) then you can call us on 01695 722 222 (lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm).
Alternatively you can fill out our online form to describe the incident, after which we can call you at your convenience and advise the best course of action. We make sure there is no risk in making a claim with our no win no fee policy. So if you have been injured on the road by a negligent driver (emergency services or regular road user) call today to see what we can do for you.
- Vera Kratochvil; PublicDomainImages.net; http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/10000/velka/fire-engine-871280326504HXka.jpg