ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- High school classes teach drivers to pull over to the right shoulder of the road when they spot flashing lights or hear the siren of a first responder vehicle.
But firefighters say not everyone complies.
"When somebody thinks they're just going to cruise in the right lane in front of our engine and we're just going to pass them -- no, that's not how it's going to work," said Andrew Barnhardt, of the Onalaska Fire Dept.
"We can't just pass them," he said. "That's a dangerous move for us because we don't know whether or not that person in the right lane is going to switch to the left as we're trying to pass."
"By pulling over to right, even if you don't know which way we might go, at least you're stopped now," Barnhardt added.
Barnhardt said it becomes frustrating when drivers fail to heed repeated requests from fire fighters to pull over.
"We'll change our siren tones and our lights to try to get their attention," he said. "We'll even honk the regular horn on our trucks."
"We're responding to someone's worst day," said Onalaska Fire Department Lt. Corey Yonkovich. "We could be going to a fire, to a loved one that may be in cardiac arrest or even worse to an infant having medical problems."
"How would you feel if it was your family member we were going to and we were delayed because someone didn't pull over?" Yonkovich said.
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