GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Crash Responder Safety Week kicked off Monday and runs through Friday.

Fire departments across the country, including here in Eastern North Carolina, raise awareness about the importance of drivers slowing down and moving over on roads when they see first responders on the scene of traffic accidents.

Kinston Fire Chief Damien Locklear said it’s important to use caution when driving near the scene of accidents.

“Just as a safety note, if you take into consideration that when you come up on a vehicle accident, and you see those lights, know that that’s someone’s mom, that’s somebody’s dad, that’s somebody’s brother sister, uncle, either being treated or absolutely the same being first responders, somebody’s mom, somebody’s dad, uncle sister brother whatever the case may be, so they want to go home safely too,” Locklear said.

According to the International Association of Firefighters, nearly once every week a first responder is killed while attempting to clear a roadway accident.