Lewes Fire Police Seek Traffic Control Unit After Near-Misses
Like many area companies, fire police in Lewes use their own personal trucks for the job. (Photo: WBOC)
LEWES, Del.- The Lewes Fire Department is seeking a special truck to manage traffic after some close calls with passing drivers.
Fire police hope to raise roughly $75,000 for a new traffic control unit, equipped with dozens of highway cones, flares and special lights to direct traffic. Like many area companies, fire police often use their own personal trucks for the job.
"We cannot carry the necessary equipment or the necessary lights to do our job safely for the citizens as well as the department members," said Lewes Fire Police Capt. Edward Schaeffer.
Lewes firefighters respond to calls on some of the busiest highways in Sussex County, such as Route 1 and Route 9.
Volunteers call traffic control a safety issue; on several occasions over the last year, members were almost hit by cars passing the incident scene. In November, Schaeffer said vehicles passing a crash scene on Route 1 caused two separate crashes and nearly injured volunteers.
The price tag is expected to cover a new vehicle and all the new gear needed inside. Schaeffer said he hopes the project will cost less. The department is seeking donations.
"It's going to make a difference because it's going to carry the cones, it's going to carry the emergency lights," Schaeffer said. "The emergency lights will let us get there so we can establish a safe zone for the department."
At least six other fire departments in Sussex County already have a traffic control unit.
"It helps us to get traffic over, get the scene safe for the firefighters to do their work," said Bethany Beach Fire Police Capt. William Bowden, who uses one of the special trucks.
The Sussex County Council donated $3,000 toward the project this week.
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