SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB) – Recent events show how crucial first responder safety can be. That’s why some courses, like one coming up in Sweetwater, are mandatory for many first responders.
“Here we are working right next to traffic where there’s already been a loss of traction, inattentive driver, something like that that’s caused a problem in the first place, and here we are having to take care of them, and the same thing is still going on behind us”, explained Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden.
Looking beyond weather concerns, an accident in Lubbock in January resulted in the death of two first responders and the injury of a third. Just before that, several people narrowly avoided injury when a truck went off the road, also in the Lubbock area.
“That type of stuff happens around here, yes”, said Madden. “The weather we had yesterday, the day before, all that type stuff, very much so brings it to the forefront.”
Looking ahead to February 26th, a Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) course teaches traffic incident responders ways to avoid danger and minimize risk. The course is meant for more than just fire or police crews. Any individual who reports to a crash scene can learn something from the course.
In fact, Sweetwater Fire Marshal James Smith says, “Anybody that’s having to work in the roadway, or near the roadway, this would be a good class for them.”
Even if your job doesn’t take you to crash sites, and you only happen to pass near them, you can help in a different way.
“We find ourselves, a lot of times, right up against it”, says Smith. “So just that consciousness of what’s going on, especially when you’re driving your vehicle. If you see something coming up, move over, slow down, take it slow, be aware of what you’re driving past. Don’t stop and look, but be aware of what you’re passing so somebody doesn’t get hurt.”
The course requires a total of 15 people to be preregistered. Walk-ins are welcome, but without the guaranteed attendees, the lesson will suffer, according to Chief Madden. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to register at the following link: http://bit.ly/3awKt4b