Fire and ambulance crews urge people to think before they park in bid to save lives
Fire and ambulance crews in the south east are urging people to think before they park in a bid to help save lives.
The emergency services want to help tackle the ongoing problem of inconsiderate parking in busy areas and small roads. They say every second counts in an emergency callout.
Simon Tuhill, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: "These fire engines that are behind me out on blue lights are going to emergencies where people's lives could be at risk and we want to get those fire engines to the public as quick as we possibly can.
"We've noticed since the pandemic with more people working from home that during the working day more cars are parked on the street and sometimes that causes a real problem for us to try and get the fire engines through the small gap."
Simon Tuhill, Assistant Chief Fire Officer
The problem is not just one faced by fire crews, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) say they have noticed poor parking is particularly an issue around popular seaside destinations such as Brighton.
Martin Watson, Operational Team Leader, SECAmb, said: "We often find vehicles parking where they shouldn't, creating an obstruction and unable to get our standard emergency ambulances through."
Cars parked on either side of the road can mean fire engines have to turn around and find a different way to go.
Rob Senior, Firefighter, added: "Ultimately, when you park your car, look and if you don't think a fire engine or ambulance would be able to get past then don't park there."
Mary Williams, Chief Executive, road safety charity Brake, said: "Our roads are saturated with parked cars and the more we clog up our road space with parked cars that are nothing to help us travel in active and healthy ways.
"We're not just endangering our environment but endangering our safety. We're making it harder for our children to cross the road."