EMS Week (Day Four): Emergency Response Driving
05/24/2012 | Mike Erfert, Public Information Officer
Every day, drivers of emergency vehicles are confronted with the challenge of travelling to an emergency scene as safely and quickly as possible. The Yuma Fire Department strives to respond to every emergency within five minutes or less. This can be achieved easier and safer with the cooperation of the public. Please yield to emergency vehicles driving with lights and sirens. Time lost in traffic can mean the difference between life and death for someone waiting for help.
Remember the followings suggestions when an emergency vehicle responding to a call is approaching:
- Pull to the right towards the nearest edge of the roadway and come to a complete stop until all emergency vehicles have passed. Often times there will be more than one emergency vehicle responding to a call...more may follow the first one you see! Be aware of your location when pulling to the side of the road. Do not stop on a blind curve or the crest of a hill.
- Always use your turn signal when you are pulling to the side of the road. This lets the driver of the emergency vehicle know that you see them, and also lets them know your driving intentions. Do not block an intersection. If you are in an intersection when an emergency vehicle approaches, proceed through, and then pull to the right.
- Keep your radio and noise level inside of your vehicle at a reasonable level. When you hear a siren, slow down and check all directions to see where it is coming from.
- Do not follow any closer than 500 feet back from an emergency vehicle.
- Do not stop directly in front of an emergency vehicle, or slam on your brakes. Fire engines and large vehicles require a longer distance to come to a stop than a car.
- Always be aware of what other drivers are doing. If they are pulling to the right, they may have seen or heard an emergency vehicle that you have not detected yet.
- If it is impossible to pull to the right and stop, then just stop where you are at (as long as you aren't in the way, and it's not a dangerous position). It is easier for the driver of the emergency vehicle to gauge your driving intentions if you are not moving.
- Due to traffic conditions, it may sometimes be necessary for emergency vehicles to travel into oncoming lanes, against the flow of traffic. This is why it is very important for all vehicles to respect responding emergency vehicles by moving to the right and/or stopping.
For More Information
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Yuma Fire Department.