Special Vehicle lets Emergency Crews Respond in Construction - WBAY

Special Vehicle lets Emergency Crews Respond in Construction

Brown County -
Construction season is well underway and more construction will begin soon.

"We're going to have a lot of big changes going on at the 41 and 29 interchange with the flyover ramps," said Scott Nelson, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Safety Engineer.

More construction could lead to emergency responders seeing more traffic collisions.

Chief Ed Janke, Village of Howard Fire Department, said the department has responded to about three times as many crashes as it did before construction began. Crashes in construction areas are causing problems.

"When we have traffic accidents right in the traffic corridor, with some of the closures, obviously we have a lot of congestion," said Janke. 

In order to get to crashes quicker, Village of Howard and Green Bay Fire Departments were given a special vehicle from the DOT. 

"It's the first time they've done it and it's been wildly successful in Brown County," Janke said.

The vehicle is called a rapid response vehicle and is equipped with equipment needed to respond to traffic crashes. The equipment on the vehicle is a cross between the equipment typically found on an engine and ladder truck.

The size of the vehicle also makes it much easier for crews to respond.

"This has a little bit shorter wheel base, a little bit more compact, and so when traffic backs up we can maneuver around a little bit better," said Captain Bob Conrad, Green Bay Metro Fire Department.

"The quicker we can get those resources to help people, the quicker we can also get traffic back open and moving again," Nelson said.

The Village of Howard and Green Bay Metro Fire Departments are the only two departments with the vehicle, but soon there may be more.

"If they've been successful then it's certainly something we will consider elsewhere," Nelson said.
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