PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) - Three northwest Ohio fire departments are working together to keep all of their employees safer while doing their jobs.
The Rossford, Maumee and Perrysburg Township fire departments have joined in a mutual aid agreement for accidents on the Ohio Turnpike. Perrysburg Township Fire Chief Tom Brice says the agreement is needed because of how first responders get to emergencies on the turnpike.
In some cases, it would be fastest for a fire truck or ambulance to enter the turnpike, turn around in the median, and travel back in the other direction to get to an accident. Brice says that practice is dangerous though, because the vehicles are so large. Because of that fact, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has asked first responders not to use the turn-arounds.
"It's certainly something we're going to try to avoid for safety reasons, but if push came to shove, and we absolutely had to use them, we can work as a team to control traffic and use them," said Brice.
Brice says with all three departments working together to respond to accidents, turning around in a median will be necessary far less often.
The departments have mapped out which areas of the turnpike each will cover. Perrysburg Township and Maumee will each respond to crashes on about 5 miles of turnpike, while Rossford crews will cover about a 1 mile stretch.