AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “You might have a deputy who’s used to working in Canyon Country get a call somewhere in a new area of Castaic,” he said. “It’s going to take a bit for them to find it. The desk runs the location through a global positioning system, but it still takes time.” And while response times to emergencies are improving in Santa Clarita, where the city pays for additional personnel, police and firefighters complain that they are hindered by drivers who ignore their emergency lights and sirens. “It’s a little harder to notice a radio car as opposed to a big red fire engine,” he said. “We’re a little lower to the ground, and in the daylight sometimes we’re hard to see. Not everybody hears them.” Dunkle suggests motorists crack their windows slightly so they can hear outside their soundproofed cars. “Carmakers are building vehicles with double steel with the goal of decreasing the sound of the engine and road, which also blocks out the noise of the sirens,” he said. “I know people like their comfort and convenience of quiet cars, but this way you’d hear us and be able to react.” “It’s always been a problem,” said Capt. Mark Savage, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Cars are getting quieter and more and more people are using their cell phones, which are a distraction when emergency vehicles are trying to get through. People have their sound systems up and are not paying enough attention to the road; they don’t hear or see emergency vehicles responding.” The growing population and accompanying traffic clogs roads and can delay emergency responses, Savage said. “There are times when the amount of cars on the road affects our ability to negotiate traffic. We can only respond as safely as traffic conditions permit.” Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Response times for routine nonemergency calls are increasing in the Santa Clarita Valley’s fast-growing outlying communities where too few deputies patrol a huge area, a local sheriff’s official said. Lt. Mike Dunkle said response times are down for emergency calls, but mounting for other calls in the areas outside the city of Santa Clarita. “We have a huge unincorporated area that is growing and growing and there are not enough deputies to cover it,” Dunkle said. The plethora of new streets unfamiliar to deputies doesn’t help. Dunkle said deputies constantly have to try to familiarize themselves with new neighborhoods so they know where the streets are when a call comes out. That’s particularly true in the sprawling area outside city limits.