First responders say narrow streets hinder rescue efforts and re - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

First responders say narrow streets hinder rescue efforts and response time

KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) - For emergency response crews every second is vital, but in some cities across the Tri-States some roads are too narrow slowing response times down.

One of those streets is Suncrest Terrace in Keokuk. The width of the street is 20 feet and city officials say the fire code requires 22 feet between two parked cars on opposite sides of the road.

That's why EMS officials and residents have concerns about it and the city is trying to fix the problem by only allowing parking on one side of the street.

Kodi Brewer and his family have lived on Suncrest Terrace in Keokuk for three years now. He says driving and parking on this narrow street is always a challenge.

"It's hard if you have holidays or anything or if anybody has company it blocks both sides of the street to where we can't get up to our house," Brewer said.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says besides the driving debacle, the width of the street doesn't even meet city safety standards.

"The fire code that is adopted into the city code requires us 22 feet for the passage of the fire truck," Marion said.

Lee County Ambulance Services Executive Director Bill Young and his crew evaluated the situation Thursday and Young says it could be challenging to navigate Suncrest Terrace if there was an emergency.

"Our ambulance is just a little smaller than a fire truck so I could see the difficulties the fire trucks could have getting through this street especially if there are cars parked on both sides," Young said.

The question is how did the design of this street pass if it fails fire code standards?

Marion says it wasn't approved under his administration, but he says it just slipped through the cracks.

"Went under the horizon," Marion said. "It happens in a lot of circumstances."

Brewer says knowing the reality of the situation on his street is scary.

"There's a big worry about that," Brewer said. "If my house catches on fire, chances are a fire truck is not going to get up here to put my house out."

The proposed ordinance will be read for the third time at the next council meeting, and they will decide whether to pass it at that time. 

Marion says if you have concerns about your street you should contact city hall and they will investigate the situation.

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