Challenges for emergency vehicles on Route 34 connector

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Emergency crews tell News 8 that delays construction and accidents are making it a challenge for emergency crews transporting patients to the emergency room along Route 34, the only major way for EMS vehicles to get to those hospitals.

EMS supervisor for the New Haven Fire Department, Kenneth Oliver Jr., is training new recruits to serve the community.

Oliver says there are many challenges for emergency crews from taking care of patients to transporting patients to the hospital as quickly as possible. “They have a very difficult time getting there and one accident just blocks it off. Especially if it is a life threatening emergency, somebody is in cardiac arrest, somebody is having a heart attack or somebody is having difficulty breathing.”

Emergency vehicles use the Route 34 connector to get to Yale-New Haven Hospital and Saint Raphael’s because it’s a straight shot. News 8 drove the Route 34 connector, the only major way for emergency vehicles to get to the hospitals from 91 southbound and from 95 northbound. Oliver added when there is an accident, “We keep our siren on and we keep blaring and we keep putting the air horn on until people move out of the way.”

Emergency crews don’t normally drive through the city because it’s not as safe. “You have to worry about going through the intersections and worry about people getting in your way. You have to worry about making sure you stop and you are only going 10 miles above the speed limit,” Oliver added.

Oliver also has some advice for drivers. “Turn your music down so that you can hear what is going on because sometimes people have their music so loud they cannot hear, so that causes a problem and slow down pull to the right and allow the emergency vehicles or the ambulance to get by.”

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