Bad Parking Delays Avon Fire Crews 15 Times
20 June 2018, 12:07 | Updated: 20 June 2018, 12:15
Avon Fire and Rescue Service is warning "minutes cost lives" after bad parking stopped their fire trucks being able to get to incidents.
In fact, they have been delayed at least 15 times between January and May 2018. On each of those callouts, they had to find another route or abandon trucks because they couldn't get passed cars.
They say it's costing them valuable minutes, which make all the different when their crews are trying to get to a fire.
The video shows firefighters from Southmead station trying to get to a rubbish fire on Codrington Road in Bishopston in the early hours of Monday 7th May. They couldn't get there because cars were lining both sides of one of the roads en route. The truck tried to get through at the opposite end of the road but there were more parking obstructions. Firefighters had to go on foot, with one member of the crew staying on the fire engine.
It meant it took them three to four minutes longer to reach the incident, which could have been fatal. Luckily, the fire was out when they got there but Avon Fire and Rescue say parked cars are becoming more of a problem.
Kevin Denford, Health and Safety Practitioner at the service said: "Minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we're responding to an incident. Firefighters have to be able to navigate tight roads with large trucks when necessary. We appreciate that people want to be able to park outside their homes and don't do this deliberately but they have to help us to help them. We ask residents to please be considerate of how they park and to consider whether they could be putting lives at risk."
Station Manager, Matt Crovetto added: "Motorists don’t always appreciate the size of a fire truck and park with only enough space for cars to pass. When we manoeuvre through tight streets, we can rarely travel at speed, if at all. We would like drivers to just think a little bit more about the space they are leaving, allowing enough space for us to pass. This really can be life or death so minutes of delay can make a big difference."
Top tips when parking:
- Pull in your wing mirrors (don’t forget to flip them out before driving off)
- Don’t park too close to corners, fire engines are larger than cars and need more room to turn
- If you’re parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine needs 3m, or two car widths, to pass safely
- Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
- Park as close to the kerb as you can
- Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
- In narrow streets, only park on one side of the road where possible
- Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
- Don’t block driveways