A traffic warden in Cheshire, England, got some flak for taking his job a little too seriously when he issued a parking ticket for an ambulance that he claimed was parked illegally.
Cameraman Ian French captured on video the confrontation between the ambulance driver, who was on shift and wanted to get some water, and the parking attendant. French was just as upset as the driver and can be heard on the video calling the attendant an "idiot."
The incident happened outside a Tesco in North England on Tuesday. The ambulance driver was on call but wanted some water from the Kingsmead shop. Because of its size, the ambulance couldn't fit in a normal parking spot, so she stopped the vehicle on double yellow lines instead of occupying a designated handicapped parking spot.
But the traffic warden would not budge.
The attendant was unsympathetic to the driver when she told him she had been working since early morning.
In the full video the parking warden says he is proud of what he has done !— Ian French (@Frenchycam) July 24, 2018
The parking company, Euro Parking Services, has since apologized and overturned the citation.
According to BBC Adrian Nesbitt, a manager for Euro Parking Services, said the warden was called in for an investigation.
It is a mistake on our part, we will contact the ambulance service to offer our apologies and put together a full training package to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The ambulance service is very important to our community, we don't want to hinder them and we're very saddened by the situation.
There was plenty of debate over the incident, with some believing the crew being on call was irrelevant.
Whilst I agree that the ambulance shouldn't have got a ticket, the guy shouldn't be disciplined clearly it's company policy - it's private property- is that all get a ticket. Think they're the ones to be angry at. Although if he was proud to ticket an ambulance there's no hope.— huey (@huey421) July 25, 2018
Not on a call does not mean off-duty. Off-duty is when you are not being paid for your time. They are working their shift, so they are on-duty.— Zach DiGiusto (@zachdigiusto) July 25, 2018
Pretty sure "off duty" ambulance crews don't get to drive the ambulance around in their free time! I'm glad they did this, who really wants their emergency services wasting time finding parking bays that would delay them saving lives! "Sorry u died I had to park a mile away"— Marcus Novius (@MarcusNovius) July 25, 2018
No the guy is in right the ambulance is parked on double yellow lines there not answering an emergency call & just parking there because there an ambulance this happens way to often— Hendrikam.grier@gmail,com (@HendrikamGrier) July 25, 2018
Others agreed that the whole ordeal was ridiculous.
It’s actually repulsive. I don’t care if she is on call, not working or stopped to get a lottery ticket. She (any emergency service personnel) should never receive a ticket for parking their vehicle.— 🔸Rosslaa🔸 (@WoodRossy) July 25, 2018
100% I hope this fine is revoked and the attendant is disciplined over this. Emergency service have it hard enough without having to pay for tickets on their disgracefully low salaries— Bradley Jarvis (@JarvisBradley) July 25, 2018
As members of humanity get over this no one is above the law bullshit, just because you experience negativity in your work spaces. By law many people are required to take a break for long shifts so getting water is a minor offense.— danielle hayden (@hayden_danielle) July 25, 2018
Someone with experience spoke in support of the crew. It's all about timing.
As someone who works in EMS, we are told to park as close to the door as possible in case we get a call. It would be irresponsible of me to park 100m away. You have to remember that in this field, seconds matter.— Zach DiGiusto (@zachdigiusto) July 25, 2018
Cheshire West and Chester Council's traffic regulation said that all emergency service vehicles are exempt from parking restrictions, but the mandate does not extend to private properties.
The British Parking Association's (BPA) code of contact states that members should "respect the needs of the emergency services." However, Euro Parking Services is not listed as a member of the BPA, according to BBC.
Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions Act 2002, Section 4, Regulation 26(5)(b) "a vehicle for the time being used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes" is free from yellow line parking restrictions.— Zach DiGiusto (@zachdigiusto) July 25, 2018
That law applies to public roads this incident was on private land. Tesco are merely a tenant on that land and do not control the car park or parking. It is the landowners and/or their agents who should be held accountable for this jobsworth's behaviour.— Pete Miller (@PeteLondonerUK) July 25, 2018
As a result of the heated exchange, the Tesco landowner temporarily stopped enforcing parking restrictions while the parking contract is under review.