The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is reminding all drivers to slow down when passing emergency vehicles after a crew member was nearly hit recently while responding to a call.
The fire engine had its emergency warning lights on while parked in the curb lane on a residential street and another vehicle passed by at a high speed as the crew was getting out. The vehicle came so close to one of the crew members that it knocked a piece of equipment out of their hands as it drove off.
“Thankfully, the crew member wasn’t injured,” said Jeff Jones, WFPS Safety Manager.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, drivers must slow down and only pass emergency vehicles when safe to do so. Their speed must be reduced to 40 km/h on roadways with posted maximum speed limits under 80 km/h and to 60 km/h on roadways with posted maximum speed limits of 80 km/h or higher.
“A first responder may be assisting someone outside your line of sight, so remember to use extreme caution when passing,” said Jones.
When approaching a scene where fire crews are working, it’s best to avoid the area completely and use another route. Never drive over firefighters’ hose lines. Doing so poses a significant danger to anyone in the vehicle, the first responders on scene, and can impede firefighting efforts. Driving over a hose line is a ticket-able traffic offense under the Highway Traffic Act.
If an emergency vehicle approaches on the road, Jones said drivers need to pull over to the right (or the nearest curb for one-way streets), and come to a full stop until the emergency vehicle passes. Drivers should also always use caution when crossing intersections.
“In an emergency, seconds count, and emergency vehicles need to get to their destinations quickly and without incident...”“A motor vehicle collision could mean delays for people waiting for an emergency vehicle to arrive and could result in an injury or worse for a WFPS member,” said Jones.
“A motor vehicle collision could mean delays for people waiting for an emergency vehicle to arrive and could result in an injury or worse for a WFPS member,” said Jones.
Emergency and safety