Barry Leddicoat

Know the rules to save lives

THE fine line between ambulance officers arriving in time to save someone's life could come down to the way you act on the road.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officers are asking drivers to stay alert and watch out for emergency service vehicles.

QAS Deputy Commissioner Russell Bowles said if motorists saw or heard an ambulance approaching with lights and sirens activated, they should stay calm, slow down and merge to the left to give the ambulance a clear passage.

"Seconds count in an emergency and can quickly add up to minutes if motorists and riders don't know what to do when an emergency vehicle travelling under lights and sirens is coming," Mr Bowles said.

"Ensure you watch their signals carefully and allow an ambulance vehicle to turn in front of you if they need to.

"Even if you are at an intersection with a green light you should still stop and give way to an ambulance."

Mr Bowles said where there was one emergency service vehicle, there were likely to be more.

"Motorists should double-check their mirrors once the first vehicle has passed and also wind the window down ," he said.

"Lights and sirens usually indicate the crew are responding to a life-threatening emergency; by doing the right thing you could potentially be saving a life."

Mr Bowles stressed the importance of giving the ambulance space when parking, reversing or manoeuvring in confined spaces.

"All QAS paramedics are highly trained in driving and operating the ambulance and take the utmost care when behind the wheel and we're calling on the public to do the same," he said.

"If you see an ambulance reversing, give it space and allow it time to reverse and continue on its path."

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