City of Beaufort fire officials reminding drivers to move over for emergency vehicles

City of Beaufort fire officials reminding drivers to move over for emergency vehicles

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Firefighters in South Carolina are reflecting after a Lexington County firefighter was struck and killed while responding to a call over the weekend.

Firefighters are using this tragedy to explain the importance of moving out of the way for emergency vehicles.

The City of Beaufort Fire Department wants to make sure everyone in Beaufort and Port Royal is safe. Now, they are asking that citizens help to make sure firefighters are safe as well.

The fire chief for the Beaufort Port Royal Fire Department has an acronym from the state fire marshal’s office that he wants people to think about when they see emergency vehicles on the road.

S - Stay alert. Be able to react to a siren.

I - Investigate. Use your context to be able to move.

R - React. Move out of the way.

E - Enter. Enter a safe space to allow movement.

N - Never. Never stop where it’s not safe.

Chief Reece Bertholf with the department says firefighters need space and assistance for treating patients or putting out fires.

“Ultimately, they are going to help one of your neighbors, so the message is simple: it could be you one day,” Chief Bertholf said. “We want to be there to help you. We are trained, and operate with due regard on the roadway and drive as safely as humanly possible, and that’s what we are asking everyone else to do; to be aware, to be safe, react accordingly if you see an emergency or an emergency vehicle approaching. Ultimately, I never want to lose a responder on the side of the road to a tragic accident that was completely avoidable.”

South Carolina was the first state to pass the “Move Over Law.” The chief says even though it has been years, sometimes, people need a reminder.

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