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EVERY SECOND COUNTS: Greater Naples Fire says population boom means longer response times

EVERY SECOND COUNTS: Greater Naples Fire sees an increase in growth, increase in response times
Posted at 9:58 PM, Apr 01, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — For our first responders, every second counts. With the population boom, Greater Naples Fire says response times are getting longer.

"We're seeing construction everywhere on all the roads," said Lieutenant Brian Rasmussen with Greater Naples Fire District Station 70. "They're trying to catch up to give us more lanes of traffic for all the influx of individuals we have moving out east. That causes more traffic issues during construction, so we are seeing slower responses due to that."

Naples Community Correspondent Bella Line rode along with Rasmussen and his team around Golden Gate, where new developments are popping up, to see how bad the traffic really is for our first responders.

After driving down some of our busiest roads, like Collier Boulevard and Santa Barbara Boulevard, it is clear maneuvering through traffic is a challenge, especially in a fire truck.

"Try to look out for emergency vehicles if you can and clear a path," said Rasmussen.

If you've driven down Collier Boulevard, you know it can be difficult to move out of the way with a guard rail on one side and a median on the other. Fox 4 asked Rasmussen what's the best way to get out of the way if on the busy road.

"There's usually a breakdown area or a bike lane or something that is going to allow you to still get as close as you can without putting yourself in a bad spot allowing for us to make it around you or to go into another lane that may open up," said Rasmussen.

However, according to Collier County, Collier Boulevard will soon expand from four lanes to six lanes with the hope of provindg more room for our first responders.

With the Move Over Law in effect, Rasmussen asks for people to watch out for them because they may be trying to help your loved one.

"This gives us a little extra peace of mind that we don't have vehicles coming right next to us while we're working," said Rasmussen.