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Column: Think before you park – lives might depend on it

Fire engines need plenty of room to turn and manouvre along streets
Fire engines need plenty of room to turn and manouvre along streets

How much do you think before you park?

Have you ever considered how much room a fire engine or other emergency vehicles will need to get through?

You may have seen on its social media channels recently that the service is trying to raise awareness of parking and how this can add on vital minutes to a crew getting to an incident, which could have fatal consequences.

In case you didn’t know the answer to how much room a fire engine needs to get through, it’s approximately three metres, or the width of two cars.

Sounds like quite a lot, doesn’t it?

Well, by doing your bit to park considerately, you could be helping crews when every second counts.

I know that none of you would want to be the one who delays firefighters in getting to a potentially life-threatening emergency because the crew can’t get through.

So when parking, it’s always best to obey any lines on the road which may restrict where you can park.

You may think that this only affects built-up areas of Nottinghamshire.

However, bad parking anywhere in the county, whether this is in a town or a rural area, can be an issue.

It is never a good idea to park too close to corners, as fire engines need a lot of room to turn and manoeuvre.

Also, parking as close to the kerb as possible will ensure that not only fire engines, but other large vehicles can pass easily.

Some of you may live on streets where cars are double parked, and this is one of the things which can really make it difficult for us to get through.

Obviously, we know that it is often necessary to park opposite other vehicles, but all we ask is that if you are doing so, you remember the three-metre rule.

So the next time you park, take time to think – you may just be helping us to save someone’s life.

Leigh Holmes is watch manager for Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service