South Metro Fire Rescue urges drivers to make the right move
Information provided by South Metro Fire Rescue
When you are driving and you hear sirens behind you, do you know what to do? You should pull to the right as far as you can and stop to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Somewhere every day, emergency responses are delayed, or worse, emergency vehicles are involved in crashes with drivers who fail to react properly.
What can you do? South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) firefighters and paramedics offer the following suggestions:
Remain calm and pay attention to your surroundings. If you hear sirens, be on the lookout for approaching emergency vehicles. Turn down the radio or iPod and get off the phone so you can focus on your driving. Check your mirrors frequently. In some situations, such as when traffic lanes are blocked by a crash, emergency vehicles may move against traffic. That means they could be coming at you on a one-way street or interstate highway.
If a fire engine, police car, ambulance or other emergency response vehicle is behind you, pull as far to the right as you safely can and stop. We know that some narrow county roads do not have much of a shoulder, but by pulling over as much as you can and stopping, our drivers can more easily go around you.
If you are in an intersection, get clear of it before you pull over and stop. However, do not try to beat a light and do not run a red light or stop sign, even if an emergency vehicle is behind you. Do not enter an intersection until it is clear.
If you are in a center lane, do not pull into the left lane. Slow down as much as possible and wait for an opening to pull to the right.
Remember, seconds sometimes really do count in an emergency. Fires can double in size every minute and brain death can occur in minutes if someone is not breathing. We hope you never need us but when you hear sirens, we could be on our way to your house, or going to help someone you care about. So please, when you see and hear lights and sirens, make the right move and pull to the right and stop.
For additional information, visit the SMFR website at www.southmetro.org.