Firefighters, EMS providers say careless drivers increase response time

Deputy Chief Thomas Rehr said delays are happening more often because of illegal parking and reckless driving

By FireRescue1 Staff

READING, Pa. — Firefighters and EMS providers say that careless driving and illegal parking jobs are slowing them down more than ever.

WFMZ reported that delays have been occurring more frequently because of careless drivers, according to Reading Fire Department Deputy Chief Thomas Rehr.

“If we're delayed by even a half a minute to a minute that is time that could cost somebody their life,” Chief Rehr said.

Paramedic Mike Lurch said its’ “frustrating” when drivers disregard the rules of the road, such as pulling over to the right when  an ambulance or fire truck has its lights and sirens on.

Firefighters have reported distracted drivers crashing into the back of trucks, as well as people who try and race emergency vehicles to an intersection, according to Chief Rehr.

Illegal parking can also delay response times.

“It could be one of your relatives or friends that we're going to,” Chief Rehr said. “If you're blocking the street and making it harder for us to get to, you can't blame us for that.”

Officials urged the public to remember the rules of the road and be more courteous.

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