Parking threat to rescuers’ response

An incident on Overdale Avenue has led to Buxton firemen highlighting the issue of streets where parked cars prevent fire appliances reaching emergencies.
An incident on Overdale Avenue has led to Buxton firemen highlighting the issue of streets where parked cars prevent fire appliances reaching emergencies.

DOUBLE-parked vehicles on Buxton’s streets are causing access problems for the town’s firefighters – who fear the issue could one day prevent them getting to an incident.

The warning comes after Buxton Red watch were delayed getting to a chip pan fire on Overdale Avenue, Fairfield, last week because double- parked vehicles made it extremely difficult for them to get their fire appliance through.

Nigel Henniker, watch manager with Buxton Red Watch, said: “Predominantly in the evening time when people are double-parked it can make it very difficult to get the appliance to residential areas.

“We know it can’t be avoided all the time but we just want people to be a little bit more thoughtful.

“If two large vehicles are parked side by side it can make it impossible. And if people could pull door mirrors in on their vehicles that would alleviate the problem to a certain extent.

“There are particular trouble spots like the Fairfield estate area, Nunsfield Road and Sherwood Road.

“For a domestic property, 99 per cent of the time we would use the hose reel and that has a length of 60 metres so it is quite important that we can get the appliance close to where the fire is. In addition, to that, quite often we will need an additional appliance, something like the high rise. If we can’t get a fire engine through, there’s no chance of getting that through.

“We’ve never not got to a fire yet but that is my fear, that one day we are going to be in an area where we just can’t get to it. We would have to stop and get people to move their vehicles.

“We were delayed around one or two minutes last week getting to a fire on Overdale Avenue.

“In respect of fire, the first five minutes are crucial, especially in a domestic fire.

“If lives are involved, it is very stressful for us if we are having trouble getting to an incident when we know somebody needs our help.

“We don’t want to be scare mongering but if we cant get to a fire because of being restricted due to parked cars ultimately the implication is somebody could die.

“It is a very difficult subject because people just want to park outside their own property.

“If people can just move along a little bit, it would help. Please leave as much room as you can. Think about if it was your house on fire.”