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Slow Down for Responders
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By News Desk
January 19, 2017

Emergency responders, which include Fire/Rescue, EMS, Police, Traffic Control, Tow Operators and Highway Personnel, are all called out to incidents on the highway at any hour of the day or night no matter what the weather conditions are, to come to the aid of those in need either from a traffic accident, fire, medical emergency, disabled vehicle or a host of many other reasons. Many of these responders are being struck by motorists traveling too fast, impaired, or distracted. On Monday March 9, 1998, an out of control tractor-trailer crashed into an emergency scene on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, killing Lionville Firefighter David Good, injuring nine other responders and destroying a number of vehicles. It was that tragedy that brought the danger to responders operating on the highway to the forefront. In January 2016, our own East Whiteland Fire Company ambulance was struck just after it pulled up to a traffic accident on Route 202 in East Whiteland Township. The two EMT's had not gotten out yet as they were struck from behind by an automobile. Several years ago a PennDOT Safety Service Patrol truck was struck at high speed by a distracted motorist on Route 202 in East Whiteland Township. Had the operator not been on high alert, he would have been crushed to death. East Whiteland Fire Company members Tommy and Randy Cockerham started a campaign to bring attention to the highway danger in August 2014, in an effort to help motorists and the public become aware of the issue. It is not only a local or regional issue, but a national issue, taking place all over America on highways and roadways. The East Whiteland Fire Company has hosted highway safety training classes for responders over the years, and urges motorists to Slow Down and Move Over if possible for responders on the highway. When you see us on the highway, we are there to help those in need. Please remember to Slow Down and provide the room and safety we need, so that we can all go home to our families.

Hyperlinks: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20170118/emergency-responders-face-added-perils-on-turnpike
 
East Whiteland Fire Company Fire Police Lieutenant Randy Cockerham and Fire Police Captain Tommy Cockerham have been campaigning since August 2014 about the danger to responders on the highway.
East Whiteland Fire Company Fire Police Lieutenant Randy Cockerham and Fire Police Captain Tommy Cockerham have been campaigning since August 2014 about the danger to responders on the highway.
Our East Whiteland ambulance struck on Route 202 in January 2016. The unit was out of service for several months being repaired.
Our East Whiteland ambulance struck on Route 202 in January 2016. The unit was out of service for several months being repaired.
 
A PennDOT Safety Service Patrol truck was struck at high speed. The operator jumped over a guard-rail suffering a broken leg, but would have certainly been crushed to death had he not been on high alert.
A PennDOT Safety Service Patrol truck was struck at high speed. The operator jumped over a guard-rail suffering a broken leg, but would have certainly been crushed to death had he not been on high alert.
Dangers to responders on the highway are very real, in inclement weather or on a clear sunny day when motorists are traveling at higher speeds.
Dangers to responders on the highway are very real, in inclement weather or on a clear sunny day when motorists are traveling at higher speeds.
 

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