Concerns Raised About Emergency Vehicle Crashes in Davidson County

DAVIDSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WHGP) – More than half of the calls the Linwood Volunteer Fire Department receives relate to vehicle accidents along Interstate 85. Firefighters say responding to those calls, c it’s like taking charge of your life.

“Every time we get out of here, hopefully we come home,” said Chef Terry Leonard.

After 30 years at the head of the department, the smoke and the flames do not scare him, the highway does.

“When you get out on the freeway, it’s hard to determine what’s going on in people’s heads,” Leonard said.

On November 27, Leonard was sitting in an SUV on the side of I-85, helping with a wreckage call when someone crashed into him.

The accident totaled the car.

A similar situation occurred a year earlier to one of their rescue trucks, causing more than $ 100,000 in damage.

“We’re seeing more and more cases, especially on highways, people just aren’t slowing down. North Carolina has a movement on the law, people ignore it, ”said Tim Bradley of the North Carolina State Fire Fighters Association.

Every year, fire engines are involved in tens of thousands of accidents across the country.

“People are in too much of a rush, they’re on their cellphones, they’re not paying attention,” Leonard said.

Firefighters say the “Move Over” law is a big effort, but difficult to enforce.

Firefighters are now trained to park larger vehicles towards the rear of a scene for added protection against oncoming traffic.

Supporters believe that a set of blue lights on these trucks could make all the difference.

“When you are driving down the street and you see an ambulance or a fire engine on the side of the road, you don’t see any brake lights, if you see a blue light on the side of the road, you see lights. braking, ”Bradley said.

A bill currently before the North Carolina Senate Rules Committee would allow fire trucks to install a blue light for use when in a park to respond to accidents.

It’s a movement that advocates say could save lives.

Senator Steve Jarvis told FOX8 he plans to bring the bill back into the conversation when the General Assembly is in short session.

Comments are closed.