Cal Fire message to drivers

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - Christopher Douglas loved his job -- dangerous as it was. Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson told us just how dangerous it was daily. 

When we have our sirens going to an incident, that's when we put ourselves in danger because it changes the dynamic of the roadway. We're communicating with drivers saying may we have permission to have the right of way," Hutchinson said. 

As firefighters mourn and miss their comrade, the accident reminds drivers how delicate they must treat emergency personnel on the side of the road. 

"If you see law enforcement on the side you need to pull to the side of the lane," Hutchinson said. 

Battalion Chief Hutchinson said it's more than just taking note of an ambulance on the side of the road. 

"The thing we have to get people to do is stop being so distracted when they drive. Cell phones, text messages, head phones, we need to focus on driving when we are driving. That's not just in this case, it's still under investigation. That person is suffering as well, but we are all very distracted," Hutchinson said. "The unfortunate thing is 60, 70, they are actually going 80. Everybody is moving very quickly. We work incidents on and off roadways and highways. We never know what that is going to be." 

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