Parked vehicles delay fire engine attending emergency

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MOTORISTS are being reminded to park responsibly, after fire crews were called to a kitchen fire, in Kineton, on Monday (22nd August), but were delayed by parked vehicles obstructing their route.

Two fire engines, one from Wellesbourne and the other from Fenny Compton, were called to a house in Mill Street, shortly before 10pm. The parked vehicles needed to be moved before fire crews could reach the incident.

A Warwickshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “Think – if we can’t get through, we can’t get to you. Please park responsibly and let us get to emergencies. It could be someone you know who needs us.

She added: “Fortunately in this incident it was under control and no one was injured as a result, but it could have been a very different story.”

The Herald reported, in June, that a crew from Shipston Fire Station was called to a sheltered housing complex, and due to poorly parked cars, in Old Road, the fire engine had to park nearby. Firefighters had to proceed on foot, but thankfully the incident was a false alarm.

In July 2016, an awareness campaign was launched by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service about careless parking, which could prevent firefighters getting to an emergency call out.

‘Park it Right’ highlighted the potential dangers drivers cause when they double park or obstruct tight corners.

The campaign warns that they not only risk other people’s lives in an emergency, but appliances have the right to remove vehicles if it means getting to the fire more quickly.

The vehicle response time could also mean the difference between crews attending a fatality or saving a life.

Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, portfolio holder for community safety said last year: “This is a very important message which aims to raise awareness of the ongoing parking issue across the county.

“People forget that whilst fire engines are more compact than they used to be, they are still quite wide, which means that they will struggle to drive down certain roads if people have not parked appropriately.”

“Little actions like parking close to the curb and straightening your wheels can make a big difference.”