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Firefighter Doug Butler guides a fire truck as it backs into the fire station on Barnett Avenue on Dec. 20, 2013. The station’s firefighters said motorists sometimes try to pass around the trucks while they’re backing in, endangering the firefighters who get out to assist the driver.

Photo by Mike DiCicco

Firefighters ask drivers to let trucks enter, exit station

17 Dec 2013 | Mike DiCicco Marine Corps Base Quantico

When an emergency call comes in, the fire and rescue crew at the Marine Corps Base Quantico Fire Department tries to be on the road within 90 seconds and at the scene in five minutes or less. However, when traffic stacks up on Barnett Avenue, they may not be able to meet those goals unless drivers stop at the white stop bars on either side of the station’s front ramp.

The problem, said Firefighter John Butler, is that they often don’t.

“Especially during rush hour, people don’t stop where they’re supposed to stop, so they block us in,” he said.

Then, when a crew returns and is backing the truck into the station, Butler said, motorist often try to skirt around the vehicle, endangering the firefighters who get out of the truck to help the driver guide it in.

“If you don’t have that physical body there holding a hand up, they’ll try to find a way around,” he said.

“It is imperative that, on emergency calls, trucks be unimpeded,” said Capt. Kevin Dickey, noting that a blocked entrance “adds critical seconds to response times for emergencies like cardiac arrest, house fires, training accidents and others.”

Regarding the drivers trying to pass trucks when they’re backing into the station, he added, “And we can’t help others if we can’t keep ourselves safe.”

Marine Corps Base Quantico