Fire Department: Pokemon Go players are slowing emergency responders

Fire Department: Pokemon Go players are slowing emergency responders

ENOCHVILLE, NC (WBTV) - If you are playing Pokemon Go, a North Carolina fire department is asking that you not park at their fire station, saying it is slowing them down.

The Enochville Fire and Rescue posted a message on Facebook Monday night, asking people to avoid parking at their station.

"The recent rise of Pokemon Go has decreased our response time and the ability to serve you," the department posted online. "When playing the game at the fire station please park in the parking area behind the sign away from the garage doors and fire hydrant near the water tank."

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The department also reminds players that North Carolina law states that it is a illegal to park within 15 feet of a fire station entrance, fire hydrant or fire lane whether attended or unattended.

"Stay safe and good luck finding Pikachu," the post ends.

Firefighter, Daniel Jenkins said when someone calls 911 they want someone there as quickly as possible.  If firefighters have to stop and tell people playing a game not to block their trucks that takes valuable time.

Shaun Fogleman, of Kannapolis, was hunting for Pokemon in downtown. He stocks up at a Pokestop and explains a gym.

"So I had to beat that gym three times to take it over and I put my top Pokemon right there to defend it," Fogleman said.

Maybe you've seen people staring at their phones playing Pokemon Go in public. It's been an issue at one gym known in real life as the Enochville Fire and Rescue.

"They parked out there for 20 minutes so I walked out see if they were okay if they needed anything.  They were just playing Pokemon," said Jenkins.

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There are plenty of no parking signs posted because it is where fire trucks exit the building, but some Pokemon Go players have been ignoring the signs.

"They seemed completely oblivious almost confused as to why I was approaching them," said Jenkins.

Fogleman has never been to the Enochville Fire and Rescue gym.

"It's stuff like that that brings a bad name to the game," said Fogleman.

Sam Hartley was also playing in Kannapolis. She wants everyone to be smart when they play.
"There are the irresponsible people who they play it while they're driving," Hartley said, "Be responsible. Stop focusing on only on your phone and enjoy the surroundings you are getting out into instead of just Pokemon, Pokemon, Pokemon."

Plenty of players say they know better, but just in case the Facebook post reminding people of the law doesn't work for the Enochville Fire and Rescue, Jenkins said he reached out online to the game maker.

"Request removal," Jenkins said while showing the online form he filled out.

Jenkins said he told the game makers of Pokemon Go they don't want this station to be a gym anymore because it's dangerous and could delay response times.

"According to them I'm supposed to receive an email when they've processed it," Jenkins said.

He said it could take a week for the removal request to get processed.

The Mount Morne Fire Department in Mooresville has also asked people on Facebook to stay away from the fire station parking lot.

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