Driveway Access for Emergency Vehicles
Residents of the Aumsville Rural Fire District, it has become apparent over the last few years some of the private roads and driveways in the area may not be accommodating to Aumsville Rural Fire District apparatus and other emergency vehicles. This letter is a reminder to our valued residents of the importance of maintaining clear and unobstructed access to all structures within the district. It is also a reminder of the importance of having access bridges evaluated for weight capacity to accommodate the emergency vehicles that may be needed to respond to your residence.
The purpose of emergency service access is to allow emergency vehicles to approach a building as close as practical in order to deploy hoses, ladders and other equipment necessary for fire control and other operations. Firefighters are asked to respond to a multitude of emergencies in various types of buildings and locations, in all hours of the day and night, and in all types of weather conditions. Emergency responders try their best to respond to calls in a timely manner, often while negotiating narrow, winding roads and difficult terrain. Fire trucks are likely to be the largest, longest, widest and heaviest vehicles that will be driven on private road and driveways within our district. Planning for emergency vehicle access improves safety for homeowners and their families by providing a more efficient response by firefighters and other emergency personnel arriving on scene. This is especially important in the more outlying areas where response times may be considerably longer due to increased travel times. Driveways that are not wide enough to accommodate a vehicle, that have low-lying branches that block passage-way or are unable to accommodate fire apparatus weight and believed to be hazardous will not be accessed by fire department vehicles. This can result in significant delays in response by first responders which may lead to disastrous results in the event of an emergency. It is in hopes that this notification will assist landowners, caretakers and property managers in providing the information needed to meet the requirements for fire department and ambulance access.
As existing apparatus age-out and are replaced by newer models, we find the overall weights of these vehicles are becoming increasingly larger and heavier. This is caused in part by numerous changes in emission controls brought on by way of federal legislation and the necessity to carry more equipment and water on each apparatus. These changes have forced vehicle manufacturers to increase the engine compartment size of fire apparatus in order to accommodate the necessary emission controls and body length for more storage room. This results in fire trucks that demand a clear path of travel to all emergencies.
If you have any questions or concerns about emergency access to your home or business, you can contact us at the addresses or phone number above, or you can request a site visit be conducted by fire department personnel. You also may want to consult with your insurance company for more information.