Urban and suburban drivers today are so distracted with cell phones, stereos, ipods, gps systems and so many others that driving is no longer the primary focus of being behind the wheel. This is what first responders have to contend with on a daily basis. In addition, first responders find themselves in situations where drivers either refuse to yield the right of way because of these distractions, or simply become scared and don't know what to do when they see the flashing police lights of emergency vehicles in their rear view mirrors. It is often with great disdain that first responders have to deal with these distracted and downright stupid drivers.
Maybe people just don't care. Maybe people are so wrapped up in their own lives, that they don't pay attention. Whatever the reason, it greatly hampers the response times of our invaluable first responders. This can be the difference between life and death, saving a home or letting it burn. Our society today has become so self centered it seems, that it only matters to us if it directly concerns us. Never mind that it could be a situation affecting a friend, a member of their family or even themselves. You never know where that police car, fire truck or ambulance may be headed. Therein lies the rub.
If everyone put down the phones, the ipods, the makeup and focused on what should be their number one priority, driving, first responders would actually find themselves getting to the scene faster and with less drama. But that's only in a perfect world. Even a close to perfect world would be a welcome relief. Yielding the right of way when an emergency vehicle is responding should not be looked upon as an inconvenience, but with appreciation for the work they do. Someday, it may be you who's waiting for the police, the fire department or the ambulance and wondering why it's taking so long.