Painesville, NE—As roads and highways become wider to accommodate an increase in traffic, the Painesville Fire Department is struggling to unnecessarily block traffic when they respond to minor accidents and other calls for service.
Lieutenant Herman Hesse of Company 12 spoke with BS over the challenges fire departments across the United States face. “When we show up for a single car accident off to the side of the road and two or three lanes of traffic remain open nearby, I’d say we’ve failed,” said Lieutenant Hesse. “It’s hard to watch quite frankly.”
Research shows that obstructing traffic with ladder trucks and ambulances allows for more effective socializing for firefighters. “We can’t just bullshit and talk about the last fire we put out while standing on a sidewalk, a yard, or in a parking lot—we need to be in the middle of the street or highway,” said Hesse. “Free flowing traffic is a nuisance; it’s a hazard—we’d prefer to just shut it all down because we can.”
PFD has been participating in a pilot program they hope will extend unnecessary traffic obstruction. Two fire apparatuses have been temporarily outfitted with traffic obstruction wings which are large barricades that slide out from the firetruck or ambulance and extend into free flowing lanes of traffic.
“So far the program has been a huge success,” said Lieutenant Hesse. “Nothing is more rewarding than turning Main Street into a parking lot on a Monday afternoon and watching all the cops go crazy, running around with their whistles and fluorescent colored vests. It’s like being a kid at the circus.”