Local first responders make push to keep roadways safer - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local first responders make push to keep roadways safer

Amarillo, TX -  First responders tell us their primary goal is to get home safe at the end of the day. And the goal of a special training in Amarillo is to ensure that happens.

It's a startling statistic...Texas has averaged the highest number of monthly line-of-duty deaths in the nation for 2015 so far.  

And local first responders are making a push to keep roadways safer. 

Area fire, police, ems and even towing companies met up today to come up with ways to work faster and more efficiently during roadway incidents.

"A lot of times we don't talk to each other unless something goes wrong, so we try to educate all the responders as to what guides each discipline and why we do what we do in the roadway," says instructor Robert Averitt.

Averitt says the responders discuss ways they have previously handled traffic situations and how they can improve. 

During the exercise, participants take part in an activity where they switch positions with another responder to get a better feel of each other's positions.

"We discuss pre-planning and we discuss the state and national standards that guide responders in the roadway," says Averitt. "A lot of times the fire department doesn't know what the police department does or why and vice versa."

Averitt tells us their concern is drivers on the roadway. However he says the number of first responders killed on our very own roads is far too high.

"The main importance is to get responder safety," says Averitt. "Too many times responders are struck or killed in the roadway. We average 100+ towers every year that are struck in the roadway. We average 1 line of duty death every month for law enforcement. We have 10-12 line of duty deaths for fire officers every year."

Averitt tells us with the importance of the training, he hopes to bring more opportunities for it, more often.

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