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Motorists being reminded as part of Fire Prevention Week to watch out for emergency vehicles

MASON CITY — “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” is the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week, and an assistant Mason City fire chief says that it also includes the sights and sounds of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles while you are driving.

Randy Elsbernd says if you see emergency vehicles approaching, pull over immediately.  “If you have sirens coming up behind you, pull to the right and stop, that’s a huge thing. Obviously responders want to get to the scene as quickly as we can as deemed necessary, but traffic is busy, Mason City is a bigger city, we have a lot of traffic in town. If you could pull to the right and stop, that would be a huge help to us, it can avoid a lot of accidents down the road.”

Elsbernd says most people are good about yielding to emergency vehicles, but there’s been times where it’s been an issue.  “Most people are really good about it, but there are others, and we do realize that vehicles are made tighter and tighter, they may have their stereo up, and they just can’t hear us, whether they are looking in their rearview mirror or not. It can be an issue, people can be cited for it. Normally it’s pretty good, but I know a few calls that I’ve been on in my career here, it has been an issue. People are not paying attention, they aren’t hearing us, or they are just not pulling over, but eventually we are able to get around them.”

The Mason City Fire Department is holding a Fire Prevention Week open house on Sunday from noon to 3:00.

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