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Rescue crews, WSP urge safety on the roads ahead of summer season

Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue held an extrication training to prepare for crashes that involve their crews having to cut people out of cars.

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue is getting prepared to assist drivers as we head into the summer season. 

Their fire crews have been taking part in an extrication training so that they can practice the best techniques to get people who have been pinned in their cars following a crash to safety. They do this training twice a year, one time ahead of the winter season and one time ahead of the summer season.

Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue Chief Jay Wiseman said when they respond to car crashes where people need to be cut out of the cars, speed is often a factor.

“The speed limit on Snoqualmie Pass is about 65 miles an hour, most people do 70 to 80,” said Chief Jay Wiseman.

They see some of these crashes at the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

“We have a lot of corners and curves right at the top of the pass and sometimes people don't make those corners and crash their vehicles,” said Wiseman.

He said going the speed limit and being patient are necessary behaviors when driving over the pass this summer.

“People become impatient and they start driving fast and get irritated, and that typically is what we think contributes to most of the crashes we go to,” said Wiseman.

A plea for patience is also being put out by Washington State Patrol Trooper and Public Information Officer Rick Johnson, who works in the region covering King County.

“Expect that there's going to be more cars, especially this weekend and really the weekends throughout the summer and even sometimes into the fall,” said Johnson.

WSP data shows there were 114 crashes in King County last Memorial Day weekend. That is up from the year before when there were 97 crashes.

“Speed related, following distance related, I think that during the summer we also get people that aren't as familiar with the roads,” said Trooper Johnson of the different causes of crashes.

Chief Wiseman is urging people to slow down and drive safely this summer.

“I'm hoping that the public doesn't have to meet my firefighters in this scenario and that everybody has a nice, safe summer,” said Wiseman.

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