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We Must use Cation at First Responder Scenes

After the death of tow truck driver Jim Corl in November, one would expect to see added caution in Central Pa.

However, the Chief at Boalsburg Fire Company says that’s not the case.

Chief Van Winter said he witnessed recklessness at a scene this week that could have been catastrophic.

“People don’t care”

While attending to this fatal wreck in Centre County on Monday, Boalsburg Fire Chief Van Winter says a driver had utter disregard for their safety.

“They’re taking their camera, holding it out the window, especially the driver so he’s not paying attention to the road as he’s going along, we have apparatus parked along the roadway. In this instance, it was a single lane road,
we were parked along the road, all it takes is a little veering and he bounces off a fire truck or he bounces off a fireman or fire police.”

Chief Winter says it’s a serious problem.

“It’s very dangerous for us, I mean, we’re trying to work a scene…and we have to keep our eyes 360 (degrees) for this type of activity.”

And he blames the issue on a faulty list of priorities.

“Their instance is that if they can find something, they can take a picture of something, they can send to their friends, that’s kind of the utmost importance for them.”

The move over law was referenced when Jim Corl was killed at a scene in Clinton County last month, but Chief Winter says it’s not enough.

“The law is there, the one’s that want to adhere by the law will adhere by the law but other one’s just, I don’t think they understand the law, they don’t understand the ramifications if they don’t follow the law, what the loss of
life it can cause for an organization like ours or any fire company.”

However, he says there should be a simple fix.

“Basically, slow down and stay focused on your driving, not focused on the scene or what you’re driving by.”

Next time you see flashing lights, please take extra care for the sake of your loved ones, and those who protect them.

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