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'Please don't stop our engines from getting through'

March 23 2021

Firefighters are urging motorists to be mindful of how they park as people continue to work from home.

Our firefighters must reach incidents as quickly as they can and bad parking is one thing which can potentially slow them up

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber

Crews say they have encountered issues in not only residential streets in Staffordshire but at beauty spots where the way vehicles have been parked has made it challenging for firefighters to drive the fire engines through.

Now residents are being asked by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to make sure they are leaving enough space for emergency vehicles as people continue to be at home during the day time due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Ant Ball is watch manager at Leek Community Fire Station. He said: “We always ask people not to park over the hydrants which we require access to, and to avoid parking too close to road junctions as that can stop the tail end of the engine from getting through.

“The issues that we encounter are not just on residential streets. We have also been seeing it in beauty spots like the Roaches, Dovedale and the Manifold Valley, where visitors are parking their cars but not leaving much room for engines such as ours to safely get through.”

The service has previously issued leaflets in areas where bad parking has made it difficult for engines to pass. Ant added: “Fortunately at our station, we have never been delayed when getting to an incident due to parking, but if we were to be, then there could be serious consequences.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber said: “Our firefighters must reach incidents as quickly as they can and bad parking is one thing which can potentially slow them up.

“We know more people are now working from home and therefore there are more cars parked up on residential roads. We are just asking drivers to consider whether an emergency vehicle can get through after viewing how they have parked.”