Police may drop charges against illegally-parked firefighter

Charges may be dropped against the Viana do Castelo fire brigade over a fire truck that was illegally parked on a two-way street where the firefighters had stopped briefly for a coffee at the end of a gruelling work shift.

The GNR authorities said they will take into account that the vehicle was involved in the fire-fighting efforts at the time of the parking offence and therefore may not impose a fine.

Police claimed the parked fire truck forced drivers to use the opposite oncoming lane and in a note to the volunteer fire department requested the identity of the driver.

“At this time, no official report has been completed. We are just asking for the identification of the driver,” said a spokesperson from the local command.

The incident took place on September 14 just after midnight in Nogueira, Viana do Castelo. At the time, the GNR officers did not identify any firemen but registered the vehicle’s licence plate.

The fire engine was part of the forces battling the biggest fire of the year in the municipality, which threatened dozens of residences and spread to another four municipalities.

That night, the vehicle was released from duty after hours of hard work and on their way back to the fire station, the firemen stopped for a coffee.

“Two of these firemen were going back to fight the fire again the following morning, only a couple of hours later,” said the president of the local fire department.

He claimed that the parked vehicle allowed passage for vehicles from both lanes.