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Wigan paramedics' anger at 'selfish' drivers blocking ambulance access

Rowan Avenue in Beech Hill
Rowan Avenue in Beech Hill

Wigan paramedics are calling out “inconsiderate” drivers for blocking ambulances trying to access stricken patients on residential streets.

A concerned emergency responder contacted Wigan Today after residents on a street in Beech Hill double parked, blocking their access to an elderly patient.

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The paramedics, who knocked on several houses in an attempt to get the drivers to move, were forced to push the ailing woman down the street in a wheelchair in the pouring rain.

“Recently I’m finding more and more that we are getting delayed in accessing emergencies due to inconsiderate parking,” said the frustrated medic.

“In some cases it’s absolutely ridiculous because people are double parking or parallel parking when there is plenty of room further down the street.

People feel that they have to park right outside their house. But this just isn’t safe for patients.

“It’s our job to make sure that people get into the ambulance safely.

“The other night specifically, we attended an incident on Rowan Avenue inBeech Hill, it was about half 11 at night and we had to push a wheelchair all the way up the street in the pouring rain past 20 houses to take an elderly lady to the ambulance because of some people double parking.

“I was apologising to the family because we couldn’t get down.”

The paramedic explained that the team, who usually turn off the blue lights once at their destination, sounded the siren and left the lights on to alert residents to their presence - but that no one came out to move their cars.

“We knocked on doors but there was no answer,” they said.

“It can be valuable time that is wasted when we can’t get through.

“If it was something like a cardiac arrest, every single second counts.”

“I have attended an incident previously in Great Acre in Whelley where I have had to park and get down and back up a really steep hill.

“It just feels as though there’s no respect for the emergency services anymore. That’s how it feels to us.

“Don’t get me wrong a lot of people are helpful and will do anything for us but unfortunately more and more now I’m attending incidents where inconsiderate parking means we cannot access the properties.

“And to be fair, ambulances are smaller than fire engines so I have no idea how they do it.”