Fire chief's fear over residents parking

PUBLISHED: 13:37 15 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

FIREFIGHTERS are to send out leaflets to areas of Felixstowe where they fear they could have problems reaching the scene of a blaze because of parking.

P7 lead with secondary pic from fotostation of two firemen squirting water on tatch

By Richard Cornwell

FIREFIGHTERS are to send out leaflets to areas of Felixstowe where they fear they could have problems reaching the scene of a blaze because of parking.

Crews say there are a number of congestion hotspots around the resort where they would have difficulty getting a fire engine quickly and want residents to think about the consequences of such a delay.

Officers know that seconds can mean the difference between life and death in some situations and many streets were not built for today's traffic.

The resort's seafront, for example, has a set of narrow Victorian streets leading between Sea and Langer Roads where parking both sides makes it tricky for a car, let alone a truck or a fire appliance, to pass easily down the road's centre.

None have off-street parking and all are forced to park on the roads. Many are sub-divided into flats and bedsits and many owners have cars, which adds to the on-street congestions.

But there are also other areas of the town with similar situations, and officers are worried that there could be tragic delays while they try to bring help.

Assistant Divisional Officer Paul Seager told Felixstowe Safety Committee that targeting certain areas was better than a global approach.

Crews were identifying streets where there were problems and then a leaflet drop would take place.

"There are a number of sideroads in Felixstowe where we have problems with double-parking and we believe that investing in a few pounds in a few leaflets now could save a lot in the long term," said ADO Seager.

"It is about making people aware in a nice way and asking them to take action to help themselves and those living around them.

"We feel that if we target areas this will have more of an impact and bring the message home much more than a global approach."

The action was part of the fire service's approach to try to stop fires and problems before they arose – prevention as well as dealing with incidents.

Another initiative from the Felixstowe fire crews was to help those living in thatched properties.

"There have been a number of fires in thatched properties in Suffolk recently and the crews decided we should visit owners and give them advice and talk to them about fire safety," said ADO Seager.

"Unfortunately, we had only started this two days before the fire at the Levington Ship pub and we didn't get to them before it happened.

"But these are the sort of ideas we are looking at to try to help the public as much as we can and we would be delighted if anyone had any other ideas we might investigate."


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