SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s especially important for drivers to give ambulances the right of way on the road, and to know how to do so properly on Interstate 91.
Between reduced lanes and a reduced speed limit, I-91 traffic congestion is getting worse. American Medical Response in Springfield told 22News they have a strategy.
“If things come down to one lane on I-91, our crews will just reroute through the city,” says Mark Laprade, paramedic field supervisor of AMR Springfield, “whether it’s going to a call or whether it’s going to the hospital. It’s probably going to only add a couple of minutes either to the response time or to the transport to the hospital.”
AMR told 22News that the extra few minutes spent inside of an ambulance is not going to make a difference in terms of how patients are cared for, because the initial care that you receive at a hospital is the exact same care that you receive in an ambulance.
Ambulances have all of the necessary medicines and equipment to keep a patient stable in the ambulance. AMR ambulances are avoiding I-91 unless necessary. They’re used to finding shortcuts around other construction projects.
If you see an ambulance behind you when there’s a lane closure on 91, don’t pull over! Laprade says, “Keep driving, even if you see an ambulance with lights and sirens behind them. Just keep driving until you can get to the open 2-lane area in order to pull over to the right safely.”
Be mindful of other emergency vehicles as well that travel through I-91 construction.