School dismissal creating dangerous situation for Rockland County fire department

HAVERSTRAW, Rockland County (WABC) -- A Rockland County volunteer fire department is asking drivers to find somewhere else to park, warning they could be creating a dangerous situation.

The Thiells Fire Department reports that over the past several weeks, people have been parking their vehicles in front of the Hammond Road Firehouse apparatus bay doors and in the parking lot during dismissal at nearby North Rockland High School.

Apparently, some parents find it quicker and easier to park at the firehouse and have their kids walk there, rather than try to find a spot in front of the school and potentially get stuck behind buses.

Surveillance cameras show lines of cars idling outside the station house.

Fire officials are now asking the community not to park at these locations because it could potentially delay responses to emergencies.

The issue came to light during an actual call Wednesday.

"Yesterday, and we've noticed more lately after reviewing camera footage, that they're literally blocking our firehouse," Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Coughlin said. "We are your emergency service, and putting the delay on us will delay us to help you."

Police officers were at the scene Thursday to keep the area clear as part of increased community awareness.

In the spring, "no standing" markings will be painted on the pavement, and signs will be added to the building itself.

The department hopes that by then, the community will have gotten the message.

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