City Council passes motion to shorten fire department response times

City Council passes motion to shorten fire department response times. (WRSP)

Springfield City Council has passed a measure aimed to reduce fire department response times on the southwest side of Springfield.

The Springfield fire chief said response times on the southwest side are as much as double what they are in the rest of the city. The new measure passed Wednesday night will allow firefighters to change stoplights from red to green when they’re on their way to a scene.

City council approved $141,000 to go toward this new traffic system. The technology will be installed at 16 intersections on the southwest side, to allow firefighters to change the light when they need to get through.

“The challenging part of that corridor is people just don’t have a place to go,” Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. “They want to get out of our way - they see us coming, they just can’t move. This will preempt those lights - it’ll turn them green, it’ll allow them to move over and then when they see the fire engine in their rearview mirror, they can then pull over to the right.”

The intersections targeted go from around Wabash Avenue and Veterans Parkway out to around Panther Creek.

The fire chief said the new traffic system could be in place as early as the end of December.

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