Fire Officials Urge Drivers to Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

4 years 11 months 1 week ago Monday, April 09 2018 Apr 9, 2018 April 09, 2018 6:02 PM April 09, 2018 in News

MCALLEN – Every second counts when it comes to responding to an emergency, says the McAllen Fire Department.

Officials are urging drivers to move out of the way.

A viewer sent CHANNEL 5 NEWS several instances where drivers cut off fire engines that are trying to respond to an emergency.

Mark Zamora, a McAllen fire engine driver, said this happened all too often.

“I need to keep eyes on all vehicles at all times," he said.

Zamora said he was just cut off Monday morning when responding to an emergency.

"We were going down Bicentennial and someone at a stop sign pulls right in front of our lane," he explained.

Zamora tells us there's a reason drivers need to move over or slow down when crews are responding to a call.

"One of our engines got struck by a trailer a couple months ago," he said. 

He said this isn't a problem just for firefighters.

"Ambulances, police officers; it is a common occurrence and it is something we have to be extra vigilant every time we are responding," said Juan Gloria, the McAllen fire deputy chief.

Gloria said they are always doing what they can to spread awareness.

He said every other time they respond to an emergency, someone either cuts them off or doesn't get out of their way.

Gloria tells us moving over isn't just for the safety of those on the road.

"A fire can double its size just in a minute," he said.

Zamora said he just wants drivers to be aware of their surroundings or it may lead to another emergency.

In Texas, if an emergency vehicle has its lights and siren on, you must move your vehicle to the right and stop. If you are in the right lane, move to the shoulder if you are able.

If you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are and wait for them to pass.

Failing to do this can lead to a fine of a couple hundred dollars.

RELATED STORY: Roadside Serviceman Explains Importance of 'Move Over' Law

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