Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Crash during rush hour traffic delays EMS four times longer

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BATON ROUGE - A five-car pileup on the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge in the middle of rush hour traffic delayed emergency responder four times longer than usual.

"There's no place for anybody to go... no shoulders to move them out of the way; so it delays our response time," Baton Rouge EMS Shift Manager Doug Chaplin said.

Crews transported one person to the hospital. But, the usually 5 minute trip took them 20 minutes because of all the traffic.

It is a problem Baton Rouge EMS runs into quite a bit.
"As often as they have wrecks on the bridge," Chaplin said. "Probably on a daily basis."

If drivers feel they can't move when an ambulance is behind them in a traffic jam, Chaplin suggests they find a way.

"If they can get back in their cars and just move a little bit, traffic lanes are wide enough to where if everybody moves over just a little bit we can get an ambulance through there," he said.

EMS is in the process of upgrading intersections with technology to switch lights so response units can safely, and quickly, move through surface streets. Click HERE to read more about the program.



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