Woman Parks Blocking Fire Station Exit Then Stalls When She Returns

A shopper in Hampshire has been branded as ‘selfish’ after parking in front of a fire station and inadvertently preventing firefighters from attending a 999 call. When the woman returned to her vehicle, her car wouldn’t start and the emergency services crew had to shove the car out of the way, eating up their precious time as they raced to respond to a call-out. The motorist was issued a ticket by the police for obstructing the station exit.

A video shared online shows the car, a silver Honda, parked up right outside the station doors of St Mary’s Fire Station in Southampton city centre.

Credit: Solent News

An alarm went off signalling an emergency to the team inside the station and they sprang into action. However, they were unable to respond because of the woman. The call was for a high-rise aerial ladder appliance – the big fire truck, to you and me – to head over to a flat on Thursday evening (16 April) for a fire.

The crew were delayed because of the woman’s parking and then the car failing to start once she came back. As you can imagine, she’s been slammed on social media. One person wrote: “What an idiot and she could have cost someone their life if the fire engine couldn’t of [sic] got there in time.”

Another said: “What if it was her house on fire and they had to say sorry, we can’t come because someone is blocking our doors? Should be ashamed – totally selfish.”

Woman Parks Blocking Fire Station Exit Then Stalls When She Returns
Credit: Solent News

When the woman came back, the fire crew admitted she was ‘apologetic and embarrassed’. Sharing the video, they said: “The car was there for just over 20 minutes for shopping.

“Long enough that the police were able to attend and issue a ticket. “Please consider where you park, especially around emergency service stations. “Also at home.

We need our space.” A spokesperson for the fire service said that this is ‘unfortunately a weekly occurrence’ due to the location of the station within the city centre. Hampshire Fire Service has a campaign called ‘I Need My Space’ aimed at raising awareness of this issue.

Woman Parks Blocking Fire Station Exit Then Stalls When She Returns
Credit: Solent News

As well as this sort of thing, there are also problems with motorists not reacting correctly to hearing sirens.

Some have been seen to slam their brakes on, risking causing an accident. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Apter said: “Motorists blocking the paths of emergency services vehicles is worse than ever before. “Some drivers are parking opposite one another making an entire road inaccessible while others are actually stopping by station exits, often in the hatched areas, and some are even leaving their cars on our grounds.

“These issues are causing delays and when tackling a fire or cutting somebody out of a car this can be the difference between life and death.”