Responding to Reroutes

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When a tragic event takes place, first responders are expected to be on the scene to help.

In Terre Haute, two major roadways are currently under construction which can put some time restraints on response time.

Seventh and 13th streets in Terre Haute are heavily traveled by many residents and also by our safety personnel as they look to help the community.

We talked with a couple of responders today to see how these road blockages complicate their jobs.

“There’s road construction going on every now, so it definitely does impact us, but we work our way around it,” Paramedic, firefighter, Diana Luther said.

Luther is stationed at the fire house at 13th and Fort Harrison in Terre Haute.

It’s a bit away from the construction zone along 13th from Hulman to Washington, but her station is second in command to respond to that area.

“It does take us a little bit longer when we are on a call, so knowing we’ll have an extended time before getting to the scene,” Luther said.

Three minutes is fire and EMS’ response time to an emergency. Diana says even with construction they’ll only be delayed a couple more minutes.

And they’re prepared to take a reroute.

“We get notice, pretty much every day, we get some kind of update saying there’s a road closure.”

Same goes for THPD. Chief John Plasse says officers patrolling streets should be familiar with all routes through town.

Their advantage when it comes to taking alternate roads is the size of their squad cars compared to paramedics.

“Our cars are pretty agile, they can go in and out of things go down alleys pretty easily,” Chief Plasse said.

He says the road construction doesn’t have a huge impact because first responders are trained to be prepared for anything.

“We are strategically placed. We have three ambulances placed on the north side the south side and the east side. We can get around if the road is closed for an extended amount of time, there are other options we could use a different fire house,” Luther said.

Both Chief Plasse and Diana Luther say they look forward to the road work. Smoother streets will benefit the overall response to a scene and longevity of their vehicles.

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