They are the crews you call in an emergency, but lately, medics and firefighters from Jackson Township have needed some help of their own.
Jackson Township Fire Department Chief Lloyd Sheets said that the number of crashes involving first responders is up this year. Now, they are reviewing how they respond to calls.
"We're always concerned about auto accidents," Sheets said. "Twenty five percent of firefighters who die every year in the United States die from auto accidents."
Sheets said that none of the crashes involving his department have resulted in death or serious injury, but he admits the number of crashes this year worry him.
Crashes include one on Dec. 2 involving two of his medics along state Route 315.
"They hydroplaned, they struck the inside and outside concrete wall doing extensive damage to the truck," Sheets said.
The crash caused around $40,000 in damages to the front end of the medic.
"We've had 12 incidents, two of those were not our fault," Sheets said. "Our target number is zero because what we don't want to do is put the citizens and firefighters in danger."
Sheets said that the majority of the fender benders have been minor. In October, first responders were returning home when a door was nearly punctured by a tractor-trailer along I-270.
"Currently we are looking into an internal review committee structure where we would review all incidents," Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly.
The fire chief has also asked first responders to be more cautious on the roads.
"The message to the guys are be aware of your road conditions and slow down," Sheets said.
In all, Sheets said the crashes cost the township between $50-60,000. Eleven of the incidents occurred as medics and firefighters were returning to the fire station.
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