News release text
Firefighters are urging inconsiderate motorists to improve their parking outside school gates before lives are lost.
A number of roads around schools are regularly turned into no-go zones for fire engines and other emergency vehicles because cars are left double-parked, at junctions, or too far from the kerb.
In the latest attempt to raise awareness of this problem, fire crews will be supporting colleagues from Kent Police in attending schools in the Herne Bay, Whitstable, and Canterbury areas throughout January, speaking to parents about parking responsibly.
Station Manager Gary Stanford said: “Unfortunately on an all too regular basis fire engines have to crawl through gaps when they respond to incidents due to people’s poor parking and it is particularly bad during the school run.
“In some cases crews have needed to find an alternative route because the quickest journey has been blocked. We are concerned that this could result in tragedy if the delay means they arrive too late to save someone from the deadly effects of smoke and fire.
“Fire engines are wide vehicles and need plenty of space to get to incidents safely without damaging vehicles. Imagine what it would be like if a blaze broke out in your home but while your family was trapped upstairs all you can see is a fire engine delayed further down the road because it can’t get past a badly parked car. We are therefore encouraging parents to think carefully before parking inconsiderately during the school run as it could cost someone their life.”
Firefighters will be handing out leaflets describing a fictitious event where a ten year old boy dies following a car crash just yards from the school gates, where the emergency services have been delayed in reaching the scene due to badly parked cars.
Crews and Community Safety Officers will be at the following schools over the next five weeks:
7th January – Briary School, Herne Bay
9th January – St Stephens, Canterbury
14th January – Herne Bay Junior and Infants, Herne Bay
16th January – Pilgrims Way School, Canterbury
21st January – Joy Lane School, Whitstable
23rd January – Wincheap School, Canterbury
28th January – Reculver Church of England, Herne Bay
30th January – Herne School, Herne Bay
4th February – St Mary’s School – Tankerton
6th February – Swalecliffe School, Swalecliffe
Follow these tips when parking on the school run:
Leave room for fire engines – They need more space to move and corner then a car
Obey all school parking restrictions
Park away from corners and junctions
Avoid parking opposite other cars in narrow areas