Griffith firefighters say it is a matter of ‘when, not if’ someone will be hurt outside the station.
It comes amid claims crews have to battle traffic and pedestrians, as they navigate an ill-placed roundabout to park the fire trucks.
Retained firefighter Danielle McKay said the Jondaryan Avenue and Yambil Street roundabout had made driving the medium-rigid trucks in and out of the station a “nightmare”.
She said the sound of screaming tyres, as cars some to a sudden stop, had become a familiar soundtrack, with impatient drivers and walkers attempting to skirt behind, squeeze around and dodge the big red vehicle.
It's very dangerous.Danielle McKay
“We even have flashing lights on, but people still can’t wait 30 seconds for us to get the truck back into the shed,” Ms McKay said.
“It’s very dangerous.”
It comes almost four decades after council designed and built the roundabout to improve traffic flow.
Ms McKay said the issue had been raised in previous years, but no action had been taken.
As a result, the station put together a video to share on Facebook, asking members of the Griffith community to be patient when they saw the truck reversing.
“We’re not traffic controllers, so technically we can’t direct drivers,” Ms McKay said.
“But we still have to get out of the truck and make sure people are aware of what is happening.”
While council claimed NSW Roads and Maritime Services owned the relevant section of road, a statement from RMS said it had no record of complaints about the intersection.
The statement read: “Roads and Maritime would be happy to discuss this issue further with Council and Fire and Rescue NSW”.
But without a new station or an alternative solution found, Ms McKay urged anyone impacted to “stress less” when they saw the fire truck reversing into the station.
“We have no choice but to go backwards,” Ms McKay said. “We are required to to face outward to respond to emergencies.”
She said there had been no accidents reported in the four years she had been at the station, but “plenty of close calls”.
With the brigade rushing to about 400 fires every year – making it the busiest in the region – Ms McKay said an accident was bound to happen.
MIA senior instructor Anthony Hatch said a flashing stop light at each of the intersection’s entry points would be an ideal fix, with firefighters able to halt traffic until the truck was safely parked.
“Anything would be better than nothing,” Mr Hatch said.
More to come.