Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 14, 2013

You can help to improve their emergency response time

— Every day all over the tri-state area, on the highways and byways, emergency vehicles are responding to calls for help.

They could be law enforcement responding to a dangerous situation or EMS ambulances and chase cars responding to a call for help.

They even may be fire apparatus or special purpose vehicles on their way to serve their communities when help is needed. The motoring public in our area still react when they see the lights behind them.

They may not be watching the rear view mirror quite as much as they should but when they hear the siren and look back they pull over to the right as the law requires.

However many have forgotten the second part of that law. After you pull over you should slow to a stop until the emergency equipment passes.

Most of the time just pulling over is enough but if the emergency vehicle is approaching an intersection or a driveway where they need to make a right hand turn you may be creating a dangerous situation by continuing at your present speed.

The driver of the emergency equipment is trying to find the correct location and now he must try to figure if he can turn right or if the car he just passed is approaching that same area.

I am certain that you (the motoring public) do not wish to delay the response vehicle or create a situation that causes more stress or cause a crash so please remember to slow to a stop after you pull over to the right as an emergency vehicle approaches.

There is one more thing that would help, the emergency service providers, find your house quicker. You need to be sure that your house number is on your house and large enough to be read from the road.

Generally finding the right house on a fire call is no problem. When we make the turn on to your street we simply look for the house with smoke pouring out of it. But if it is an EMS call we don’t have that hard-to-miss sign that you need help.

Remember, seconds count in many emergency situations and if you are busy trying to help your loved one inside the house you don’t want the emergency responders missing your location because they cannot see a house number.

Help your emergency service providers give you the best service possible by pulling over and stopping when you see them coming and installing large house numbers on your home. You may be saving a life.

Don Reid

Cresaptown

Member of the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Departme
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