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Move over; save lives
EMS
Wanda McDuffie, director of Effingham County Emergency Medical Services, is reminding drivers to move over when they see ambulances approaching with their red lights flashing and/or siren blaring. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Breaking the rules of the road can have disastrous consequences even when it doesn’t cause an accident.

That’s the reason Wanda McDuffie, director of Effingham County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), is reminding drivers to move over when they see ambulances approaching with their red lights flashing and/or siren blaring. 

“People are always supposed to move to the right but a lot of them don’t,” McDuffie said. “They have their radio on loud, they have headphones on or they are talking on their phone and not paying attention to what is around them.”

Impeding EMS vehicles can cost valuable seconds that could save lives. That’s why drivers should yield the right of way to any police vehicle, fire engine, ambulance or other emergency vehicle using a siren and flashing lights. Drivers should proceed to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. They should never stop in an intersection, however.

Ga. Hwy 21 is particularly problematic for EMS ambulances, especially in Rincon.

“For any emergency vehicle, drivers should move to the right because we are supposed to be in the left-hand lane on a four-lane highwayn in order to be more visible,” McDuffie said.