Firefighter nearly hit while responding to call

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A member of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service was nearly hit while responding to a recent call.

The WFPS did not provide the location or date of the incident but said it happened on a residential street.

The WFPS said a fire truck had its emergency warning lights on while parked in a curb lane when another vehicle passed by at a high speed as the crew was getting out. It said the vehicle came so close to one of the firefighters, that it knocked a piece of equipment out of their hands as it drove away. 

“Our people are working out in the street in a very dangerous situation,” said Jeff Jones, WFPS safety manager. 

“We’re trying to do our best, and if we can get the citizens of Winnipeg to respect that they’re out there, to slow down, and just pay attention, and know that they’re trying to do a very difficult and dangerous job, and not to make it any more dangerous.”

The WFPS is reminding drivers to slow down when passing emergency vehicles and to only do so when it’s safe. Officials recommend using alternate routes when fire crews are working, and to avoid the area altogether if possible. 

Under the Highway Traffic Act, drivers must reduce their speed to 40 km/h on roads with posted maximum speeds below 80 km/h and to 60 km/h on roads with speeds of 80 km/h or higher.

They’re also reminding drivers to get out of the way when emergency vehicles are approaching.

“When people don’t pull over to the side of the road and stop to let us go by, that slows down our response time. If the responders trying to provide the service become victims themselves, then we can’t get to the people we’re trying to protect,” said Jones. 

He said to pull over to the right, or to the nearest curb on one-way streets, and come to a complete stop until the emergency vehicle passes.