The Seattle Fire Department aims to respond to most emergency calls in eight minutes or less. With one of their main thoroughfares about to close, the Highway 99 viaduct, can they still maintain that standard?
“Certainly it may take longer to respond,” said Deputy Chief Ron Mondragon.
The fire department has a multi-layered plan to get first responders through the potential gridlock during the Seattle Squeeze, the three weeks starting Jan. 11 when the viaduct closes and the new tunnel has not yet opened.
SFD has mapped out specific response routes with parking restrictions on roads wide enough to allow fire trucks and ambulances to pass traffic.
One option is 3rd Avenue, a bus-only route right through the downtown core.
SFD is also pausing training during the squeeze.