Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

July 9, 2014

City worries about trains and access

GREENSBURG — City officials worry that a slowly moving or stopped train may block first responders’ access to a medical emergency or fire south of the railroad tracks.

The Greensburg Board of Works on Monday instructed Fire Chief Scott Chasteen to generate some ideas about how to address or prevent such a situation.

Chasteen and other city officials identified as a solution a fire station south of the tracks or an overpass.

BoW members also suggested that the railroad could notify the city when a train is expected to move through the city so that local emergency responders can place units south of the tracks, but Chasteen and Greensburg Street Department Commissioner Mark Klosterkemper said that the railroad is unlikely to provide that service.

Mayor Gary Herbert said he has heard from a mother, who lives south of the tracks, who said she worries that her son may suffer a serious asthma attack while a train is blocking an ambulance.

BoW member Rodney King said he would like to see a plan next month to address the issue.

“The problem is there,” King said. “We need a solution.”

The chief also said that he would be discussing with the Greensburg City Council a local ordinance to outlaw fireworks outside of July 4.

The board of works approved Chasteen’s requests to purchase protective clothing and air supply kits for firefighters.

Chasteen said the two air supply kits, which will cost about $5,500 each, can be plugged into a firefighter’s existing air supply. The chief said that if a firefighter is overcome in a structure and needs to be rescued, fellow firefighters can extend his air supply by another 30 to 40 minutes with the kit.

Chasteen said the protective clothes, which cost about $1,600 per set, need to be replaced periodically. The department has 32, and eight need to be replaced. The chief said he likes to stagger the replacements to spread out the hit to the budget.

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