Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roanoke’s new fire truck sustains damage in accident

Roanoke City's New Ladder Truck

Roanoke City’s new ladder truck No. 1 saw its first big fire Saturday night along with the three other Roanoke City Fire Department ladder trucks. The almost $1 million dollar beauty came out of its first battle unscathed but it wasn’t so lucky the night of the big storm that was dubbed a derecho.

(See the reminder below of what to do when approached by an emergency vehicle in the state of Virginia.)

According to Aisha Johnson, police spokeswoman officers responded the night of the storm at 10:23 p.m. to a two-vehicle wreck involving a citizen’s vehicle and a City of Roanoke fire truck at the intersection of 10th Street and Orange Avenue. The fire truck with emergency lights activated and the citizen vehicle, a Chevrolet Malibu were both traveling east on Orange Avenue. Lt. Chris Decker, 41 was driving the ladder truck and said in a phone call they were making a left turn onto 10th Street when the right rear and tire struck the Malibu.

Johnson said that Tamera Arness Pitzer, age 51 of Roanoke had stopped in the intersection and was struck by the fire truck. Pitzer was charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. The estimate of the damage on the police report was $4,000 “however that is just an estimate and did not come from any vehicle repair company.” she said.

The investigation determined that Lt. Decker was not at fault. Pitzer was the only occupant in the vehicle. She was transported to the hospital.

Lt. Decker said they rendered aid to Pitzer before she was transported by a medic unit. The extent of her injuries is not known. When asked how well the rear driver of a ladder truck can see he said, “fairly well for the most part.”

Right rear of Ladder No. 1 damage

The right rear back door was manually adjusted so it would open and close. There was not a specific timeframe scheduled for repair according to Deputy Chief Ralph Tartaglia.

The new ladder truck already in service and the two new engines purchased at the same time totaled $2 million. The two engines will be placed in service as soon as they are outfitted. Lt. Decker said that there are four ladder trucks in the city and all four participated in the General Truck and Tire Company fire Saturday night July 21.

Tiffany Bradbury, Fire-EMS Spokeswoman said that there will soon be an open house so citizens and fire truck enthusiasts can see the new state of the art fire trucks.

DO this when approached by an emergency vehicle…

Pull to the nearest edge of the roadway and come to a complete stop until all emergency vehicles have passed.

Be alert to the approach of more than one emergency vehicle. Be sure to check your rearview mirror before pulling back on the travel lane.

Keep the volume of your radio to a level that will not interfere with your ability to hear approaching emergency vehicles.

Use your turn signal when pulling off the road. This sends a message to the emergency vehicle operator that you are aware of his presence.

DON’T do this…

Block any intersection. Blocking intersections, even when attempting to yield to an emergency vehicle is dangerous.

Follow an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency closer than 500 feet. It’s against the law!

Stop on a bridge, curve or crest of a hill, instead, activate your turn signal and proceed forward until you can safely pull over and come to a complete stop.

Slam on you brakes or stop directly in front of an emergency vehicle. Large trucks require more stopping distance than a passenger car. Stopping abruptly in front of any large vehicle can have deadly consequences.

Code of Virginia section 46.2-829 states in part:

Upon the approach of any emergency vehicle as defined in 46.2-920 giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or airhorn designed to give automatically intermittent signals, and displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in 46.2-1022 through 46.2-1024, the driver of every other vehicle shall, as quickly as traffic and other highway conditions permit, drive to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection of highways, and stop and remain there, unless directed by a law-enforcement officer, until the emergency vehicle has passed.

Violation of this section shall constitute failure to yield the right of way; however, any violation of this section that involves overtaking or passing a moving emergency vehicle giving an audible signal and displaying activated warning lights as provided for in this section shall constitute reckless driving.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events

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