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WICHITA, Kansas –– Investigators believe a collision involving a Wichita Fire Dept. squad unit and another vehicle Friday morning could have been prevented had that driver followed the rules of the road.
The Wichita Fire Dept. responds to over 65,000 calls every year and with each call they roll out their fire trucks and vehicles, but while driving to the scene they have to take extra precaution so they don’t find themselves becoming part of an accident scene.
“A few times a year we do get involved in accidents and we do want to try to prevent those from happening,” said Brad Crisp, Division Chief of Safety Training for Wichita Fire Department. “Most every accident that involved one of our apparatus are preventable accidents.”
Kansas law requires drivers to yield to emergency vehicles like police cars, fire trucks, and EMS.
But a fire squad unit responding to a house fire collided with a Ford Taurus early Friday morning at the intersection of Lincoln and Washington.
“It appears the car failed to yield for the emergency vehicle at the intersection,” said Sgt. Mark Jackson, Wichita Police Department.
Investigators say the squad unit came to a stop at the red light to make sure it was all clear before continuing eastbound.
This is a policy followed by the Wichita Fire Department.
“When we’re running emergency traffic we want to try to anticipate what other people are doing,” said Crisp. “So we could avoid these kinds of collisions.”
But even with the red and blue lights and sirens going off, Crisp believes drivers get distracted and often times don’t even realize what’s going on.
“Somebody doesn’t see us because they’re busy looking at their cellphones or they’re dealing with another person, child, or whoever in the vehicle,” said Crisp. “They don’t see us. Sometimes we see them them, but we stop and they don’t see us and they hit us.”
Fire crews hope that with the help from other drivers on the roadway that they can prevent a potentially deadly collision from happening.
“It’s really a concern that I think everybody shares is that we really want to encourage people to pay attention when they’re driving,” said Crisp.
As for the collision, KSN News learned that the driver of the Ford Taurus was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries and that no one else was hurt.