‘Seconds count in saving lives’

Ballyclare Fire Station.
Ballyclare Fire Station.

Inconsiderate motorists are putting people’s lives at risk by blocking the entrance to Ballyclare Fire Station.

That’s the warning from the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, which this week appealed to drivers to refrain from parking in front of the station.

A Fire Service spokesperson said that some members of the public have been leaving their vehicles on the fire station forecourt while they visit businesses on the Ballynure Road. And in some instances drivers have even parked across the bay doors, potentially delaying fire appliances leaving the station and posing a risk to public safety.

The spokesperson stressed that “seconds count in saving lives.”

“We would ask people not to block access from the fire station under any circumstances and not to park in front of the station as the forecourt is clearly demarcated and reserved for emergency service personnel only,” she said.

“We are appealing for sensible, safe parking by motorists at all times in the vicinity of the fire station to ensure we can do our job and protect the local community from fires and other emergencies.

“Along with our public appeal we will also be raising this through the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to help us address this issue.”

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan added: “If anyone is doing this I would encourage them to be mindful that the emergency services must be able to respond to situations quickly. Access to and from the station must not be inhibited in any way.”

Councillor Jim Bingham also urged people not to block the entrance to the fire station, adding that he plans to raise the issue with the police at the next PCSP meeting.