Let’s have a chat about Optional vs Mandatory, shall we?

Last week, for the 3rd time, there were lights in the rearview before the sirens were even audible.  I pulled the Subaru over and stopped.  And, for the 3rd time, my jaw dropped as cars pulled past me and continued on.  Sirens were now audible, and still, cars just kept going by as if nothing was happening, not even slowing down.  In the rearview, at the intersection through which I had just passed, the EMS vehicle deftly navigated around the cars which only stopped when collision was imminent.  The EMS zipped by me only to be slowed down by the cars that begrudgingly pulled aside only when the EMS was on their tail – aside, not over, and not all were stopped.

For the 3rd time in a week, I yelled at no one in particular.

A little disclaimer here.  You is directed at the You’s who believe that the rules of decent behavior on the road do not apply to them. The rest of you who get it, can pass this along.

It is s a simple thing. You hear sirens, you pull over. You see flashing lights, you pull over. NOT when you feel like it, NOT when the EMS vehicle is on your bumper.  NOW! And if you can’t pull over, STOP.  They are trained to find a path around you. Every second counts, which means unless YOU are in the EMS vehicle, where you are going and what you are doing isn’t so important that a few stationary seconds is going to throw off your whole day.  Just get out of the way, and let them do their jobs and remember: it might be you or a loved one in that EMS some day.

When I posted that last paragraph on FB, a fireman/paramedic friend of mine commented,  “It’s always someone’s loved one in the back.” Good point.

Pulling over for an EMS vehicle is not optional, it’s mandatory. It’s not about convenience, it’s about life and death.  The EMS vehicle, passenger, and crew, are not plotting against you to ruin your day.  In short:  It’s not. about. you.


(For more information, read this or this)


About Elizabeth Bishop

Not quite wise enough yet to not yell under the avalanche.
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