The boss at Scarborough Fire Station has urged local drivers not to park on double yellow lines opposite the station on North Marine Road to prevent a “life-or-death” situation arising.
Graeme Casper, Station Manager for the Scarborough District, has made the plea after a recent incident in which the large Aerial Ladder Platform could not be driven away from the station due to the illegally parked vehicles.
This occurred on Saturday 16 October 2021 when the platform was deployed to a “persons reported” incident, which is when someone is trapped in a property fire.
Station Manager Casper said: “The fire was very near to the station, no more than 30 seconds away on blue lights. While the main pump turned out with ease, it was when we had to attempt to turn out with the Aerial Ladder Platform that the problem occurred.
“There was a vehicle parked opposite making it impossible to turn out of the bay. Instead of being able to use the platform to make the rescue via an upper floor window, our firefighters instead had to reach the person by going into the burning property.
“This greatly increased the risk to the person who needed rescuing, as well as to our firefighters whose job was made more difficult directly because of the illegal and irresponsible parking opposite the station.
“If this isn’t sorted soon, my real fear is that it will eventually create a life-or-death situation.
“This is clearly unacceptable. Drivers need to realise that their selfish actions are hindering an emergency service which could, ultimately, end up costing lives.”
Station Manager Casper said the problem is now a daily occurrence. His staff have tried to reason with some of offending motorists and asked them to move on, only to be met with verbal abuse.
He added: “Scarborough Borough Council has increased parking patrols in the area to help address the problem in the short term, but we fully acknowledge that they cannot be on-hand around the clock.
“We are seeking a more permanent solution through North Yorkshire County Council. Our hope is that yellow hatched markings will be placed on the road to ensure all of our emergency vehicles, including the Aerial Ladder Platform, can be operated from the station without any hindrance from other vehicles parked nearby.”