GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Being stuck in traffic for nearly three hours isn't an option for the folks who are responsible for saving lives. When a hydraulics problem on the Cowan Lorraine Bridge backed up traffic Thursday afternoon, the American Medical Response team had to make sure it could still respond to emergencies.
"When we got the news that the bridge was up in the locked position, no traffic could go through, what we did was make plans to have the ambulances that were south of the bridge respond south of the bridge and the ambulances that were north of the bridge respond north of the bridge," said operations manager Gregory Doyle.
The AMR team is well practiced in logistics, something that will come in handy should the bridge get stuck again.
"When traffic backs up, there's a higher likelihood of having an accident, because sometimes people aren't paying as much attention as they should be in front of them, and it causes minor accidents," said Doyle.
MDOT officials said there is a temporary fix in place on the bridge, but a permanent solution could take several weeks. In the meantime, motorists should keep a few things in mind should the problem occur again."
"Maintain a low speed limit. Make sure you stay an adequate distance from the people in front of you, and pay attention to what you're doing. Don't talk on the phone, don't text and drive, and wear your seat belt," said Doyle.
MDOT officials say they are beginning the bidding process with contractors for the long term bridge repairs.
Gulfport Police are responsible for helping reroute drivers when there is a major traffic problem. Officers say the biggest thing to remember if you find yourself in a traffic jam, is to stay patient.