Paramedics with the B.C. Ambulance Service are pushing for public awareness ahead of this long weekend.
Besides driving carefully, the BCAS wants to remind drivers they need to pull over when they hear or see an ambulance coming up behind them.
Awareness is key, J. P. Labonte, a 35-year veteran of the BCAS in Smithers, said.
During the summer and especially on long weekends, people head out with their camper trailers, but neglect to adjust their mirrors, Labonte said as he recalled an incident earlier this week when the driver of a camper trailer failed to pull over.
“He couldn’t see either side,” Labonte said.
Labonte, then had to wait for a safe spot along the highway to overtake the camper trailer.
“I had to wait, I couldn’t put my partner nor myself in danger,” Labonte said.
“People need to check their mirrors often.
“They may not hear the siren, but they’ll see the flashing lights.”
Checking your mirrors is all the more important if you are driving a new vehicle Labonte said, as they tend to be more soundproof.
Turning up the music too loud tends to blockout all other sounds, making it difficult to hear the siren from an ambulance.
When an ambulance, or other emergency vehicle pulls up behind a vehicle, the driver is required to signal, pull over and come to a stop on the side of the road.
With the exception of a divided highway, traffic in both directions must stop.
Ambulance crews respond to close to 490,000 calls each year, approximately one event every minute of every day of the year.