Emergency response times may improve for Springfield's southwest side

Emergency response times may improve for Springfield's southwest side. (WICS)

The Springfield Fire Department is one step closer to amping up emergency response times on Springfield's southwest side.

This is something they've been working on for a year.

"When you're responding from station 12 on Koke Mill for example, they go through eight to 10 intersections before they get to that corridor," said Chief Allen Reyne, with SFD.

Reyne said one big struggle for fire engines is when streetlights are red.

He said if an engine is required to stop, it can add a lot of time to their trip.

"The most vulnerable time during our response is to go through an intersection that has a red light,"Reyne said.

The department has been working on a plan to bring technology to the southwest side of town, which would change a red light to green for fire engines.

That technology is costing around $100,000.

They approached council last year but were told the department would have to pay a portion.

They've been working to find the best bid.

The fire department will now take that proposal before City Council.

"My hope is that it will be in place by Christmas season," Reyne said.

Panther Creek is one of the neighborhoods greatly affected by slow response times.

Some people who live there said this new technology will be a game changer.

"I think it's a good idea. It makes sense to me they can get to a destination uninterrupted. More or less, I think it's a good idea,” said Ted Curtis, who lives in Springfield.

Others worry it's going to cost more than it's worth.

"I'm more concerned with the property taxes and supporting the fire department and different stations than I am with the quick response,” said David Reid, who lives in Springfield.

Once the technology is installed on the southwest side, the fire department will monitor it.

The goal is to eventually expand this technology throughout the entire city.

City Council will vote on this at their next council meeting on November 30.

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