Across the Kansas City metro area, emergency response operators rely on various equipment to keep not only motorists moving safely, but to keep themselves safe as well. One such piece of equipment is a snow plow attached to an emergency response truck.
With winter weather just around the corner, it’s easy to assume that snow plows are exclusively for clearing snow from the roadways. The emergency response employees at MoDOT, however, use the plows to perform a variety of tasks in a much safer way.
Attaching plows to emergency response vehicles allows crews to clean debris from drain tops, remove rock and dirt, and other various anomalies such as tree limbs, debris, and even animals along the interstate all from the safety of their vehicle.
“Ideas to use our resources in a variety of ways are implemented to keep our operators from being on foot in a lane of traffic,” explains KC Scout Incident Management Coordinator, Marcus Slaughter, “This reduces the risk of serious injury or worse to emergency and first responders,” he finishes.
One example of this dates back to July 2019 when a semi-truck carrying a load of pig intestines lost its load and consequently dumped animal parts across Interstate 670. The incident shut down three of the four available lanes. Emergency response crews arrived on scene with a truck with a snow plow attached to help push the mess to the side of the road.
In 2019, KC Scout responded to more than 35,000 incidents on metro roadways. That’s more than 35,000 times a motorist had a flat tire, a semi overturned during rush hour or debris littered a high-speed lane.
Each time, these incident responders were putting their safety on the line to clear the incident and return traffic to normal as quickly as possible. Keeping these responders off of the roadway when possible is critical to their safety.
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