Dangerous Barriers: Roadblocks for our first responders

By Alana Cerrone

acerrone@abc6.com

@Alana_Cerrone

Just like we rely on our firefighters, police, and EMT’s to get to our emergencies as quickly as possible, they rely on us, too, to get out of their way.

But that, according to local firefighters, is becoming more and more difficult.

We were aboard North Providence Rescue 1 rushing to an emergency when it was cut off by an SUV.

"We have to almost fight our way through intersections to get to calls," says Battalion Chief David DeStefano. And in a job where every second counts, they find themselves hitting the brakes, coming to a stop, or even worse, getting in accidents.

"The most common accident is an intersection accident… often times the civilian driver doesn’t see or hear the fire apparatus and proceeds through the intersection…or a lot of times thinking they can beat the fire apparatus, which is a dangerous game to play."

So fire safety officials want to remind drivers what to do. If you see or hear an emergency vehicle, pull to the right, and come to a stop.

It’s also important to remember – they often travel together, so don’t think you’re safe to get back on the road just because one truck has gone by. Check your mirror to look for more.

Lastly, if you park on a narrow street, make sure there is enough room for a rescue or truck to get through. We’re told there have been incidents where trucks have had to back up and find a new route to a fire because they couldn’t fit through the street.

(C) WLNE-TV 2017