Maintain clear driveways for EMS access | Guest column

  • Tue Nov 14th, 2017 10:35am
  • Life

Submitted by Lopez Fire and EMS

Lopez Island property owners and residents, we need your help. For the second time in less than two years, we have had to send your “new” ambulance off the island to be repaired because private roads and driveways are not being maintained. The driveway that caused the damage this time was too narrow for the ambulance and we even had to cut down trees in order to free the ambulance and provide care and transport for our patient.

Many of the driveways and private roads when they were first developed were adequate but as the years have passed the trees and brush have grown and the access has become too narrow and low. These growing trees and brush, along with boulders hidden in the high grass are causing damage to your emergency equipment. Your driveways need to be maintained and restored to allow emergency vehicles to safely access your property in your time of need. Your aid vehicles and fire apparatus are 8 feet wide, have extended wheelbases and are 10 feet high. Twelve feet wide 12 feet high driveways provide a minimum 2 feet clearance for your emergency vehicles.

These vehicles carry your life saving medical supplies and firefighting water and equipment.

We, your Lopez Island Firefighters and EMTs, are your neighbors responding to help. Lopezians, using the tax dollars you have generously provided to Lopez Island Fire and EMS, we have purchased vehicles and equipment to render assistance in your time of emergency need. Minutes are precious to us when trying to save a life or stop a fire. Your firefighters and EMTs need your help to avoid delays in reaching you with your emergency equipment.

We are asking for your help to keep your access roads and driveways a minimum of 12 feet wide and 12 feet high and if there are sharp turns to widen the drive at that point to 14 feet.

Clearly marking the entrance to your driveway with the address with numbers a minimum of 4 inches high on signs with a background different than the color of the numbers allows us to quickly identify that we have reached the correct driveway.

We are happy to provide you with a free inspection of your access road/driveway by a member of Lopez Island Fire and EMS upon request. Please contact us at or by calling 360 468-2991.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please help us by maintaining your roads and driveways so we can reach you without delay.