SEATTLE – For the past several months, the Seattle Fire Department has worked closely with regional partners and developed plans internally to prepare for the closure of the viaduct and associated traffic congestion. The department is focusing all of its resources on responding to emergencies, and has taken steps to minimize impacts to emergency services:
- The department activated and staffed its Resource Management Center (RMC) on Jan. 12 to have the ability to closely monitor response times, and make recommendations based on analysis. Depending on circumstances, recommendations could include up-staffing units, placing additional units on the streets, or implementing bicycle medics. The RMC is located at Fire Station 10, and will stay activated through the duration of the 3-week closure.
- Specific emergency response routes have been identified and will be used by firefighters when they are responding to the scene. The department has worked with the Seattle Department of Transportation to eliminate some parking spaces on these response routes, which will allow emergency vehicles to respond more quickly on these roads.
- All community events are temporarily suspended.
- Multiple emergency helispots have been identified to transport critical patients to Harborview. This would only occur under very rare circumstances. The helispots are located at large parks, such as Seward Park and Magnuson Park.
What can the public do to help?
- Continue to call 911 only for emergencies.
- Be attentive to emergency vehicles, and move right for lights and sirens. More information on the laws and regulations of yielding to travelling emergency vehicles can be found here: http://fireline.seattle.gov/2019/01/07/help-us-help-you-move-right-for-lights-and-sirens/