Sidney Fire hosts Traffic Safety meeting


New rescue tools demonstrated

Sidney Fire Lt. Jason Truesdale demonstrates the ease of using one of the new Hurst vehicle extrication tools to Shelby County Emergency Management Director Cheri Drinkwine as Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass and Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Dallas Davis listen to the explanation of the tool’s many uses.

Sidney Fire Lt. Jason Truesdale demonstrates the ease of using one of the new Hurst vehicle extrication tools to Shelby County Emergency Management Director Cheri Drinkwine as Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass and Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Dallas Davis listen to the explanation of the tool’s many uses.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — Sidney’s Department of Fire & Emergency Services hosted the quarterly meeting of the Community Traffic Safety Network of Shelby County (CTSNSC) Tuesday morning. Fire Chief Chad Hollinger welcomed the group, and introduced the team presenting the program for the meeting, including Deputy Chief Dallas Davis, Lt. Jason Truesdale, and firefighter Kyle Meyer.

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Cheri Drinkwine, who will be retiring in December, introduced Kristy Fryman. Fryman has been hired to take the reins as director when Drinkwine retires.

Hollinger reported that the cable crossover barriers along the interstate had dramatically decreased the number of serious accidents along Interstate 75. Even so, there have been 160 crashes thus far this year on I-75 through Shelby County, a number of those within the City of Sidney.

He reported so far this year, the department has responded to 3,237 calls. That compares favorably to the 3,285 calls during the same period last year, and the 2017-2019 three-year average of 3,370 calls.

Hollinger did report that there had recently been several pedestrian-vehicle accidents in the downtown area resulting in serious injuries. He also reported that there had been two recent motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injuries.

Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst, who chairs the CTSNSC, asked if the pedestrian-vehicle accidents were the result of vehicles failing to yield the right of way. Hollinger replied that based on his records, it did not appear to be the case.

Sidney Police Captain Bill Shoemaker provided attendees with statistics for the first three quarters of 2021. He reported there were no fatalities in the corporate limits during the first nine months of 2021. He noted that by the third quarter last year, there had been one fatality inside the city limits..

Accidents were up 12% from 321 crashes in 2020 to 360 for the same period this year. Citations issued increased 31% over 2020 to 1,317 so far this year. Shoemaker noted that officers issued fewer citations last year because of the pandemic, so it really wasn’t a good comparison. Traffic stops increased from 3,432 in the first nine months of of 2020 to 4,432 during the first nine months of 2021, a 29% increase.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Piqua Post Commander Lt. Joseph Gebhart provided statistics for Shelby County covering the period from January 1, 2019, through October 15, 2021. His list of top crash routes included I-75 with 160 crashes, state Route 47 with 141 crashes, state Route 29, with 94 crashes, County Road 25A, with 23 crashes, and state Route 66, with 17 crashes.

Gebhart also provided statistics for accidents by both the hour and the day of the week. Friday remains the day of the week with the most accidents, followed by Wednesday, Thursday, Tuesday, Saturday and Monday. Sunday remains the safest day of the week to travel on Ohio roadways.

Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass asked if there had been an increase in the number of reported incidents with individuals passing school busses stopped to pick up students.

“You picked a great time to ask that question,” Gephart responded, “as this is National School Bus Safety Week. Fortunately, we’ve not received many reports thus far this year, and I certainly hope that doesn’t change.”

Public Works Director Jon Crusey reported that the only major highway construction project that would be undertaken in the coming year were the public safety improvements to state Route 47 from Fourth Avenue to I-75. He stated that the preliminary list of streets to be resurfaced in 2022 was currently being determined as well as the list of streets that need curb and gutter replacement.

Truesdale provided background information on the department’s recent acquisition of battery powered vehicle extrication tools. He outlined the many advantages of the new tools over the corded tools that have long served the department.

Both he and Meyer demonstrated the Genesis corded tools, noting their heavier weight, the loud noise emitted by the generator that powers the tools, the restriction on the distance the cords allow the tools to be used from their power source, and the ability to use only two of the tools at one time.

The duo then demonstrated the lighter weight Hurst tools. Truesdale discussed the fact that all of the tools can be used simultaneously, that they are able to be used under eleven feet of water, that they have increased power, the long battery life and the interchangeability of the batteries.

After answering various questions regarding the new tools, Truesdale and Meyer moved outside and demonstrated the new tools on a section of guardrail.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, hosted by Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye. The quarterly, hour-long meetings begin at 8:30 a.m.

Sidney Fire Lt. Jason Truesdale demonstrates the ease of using one of the new Hurst vehicle extrication tools to Shelby County Emergency Management Director Cheri Drinkwine as Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass and Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Dallas Davis listen to the explanation of the tool’s many uses.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_safetycouncil.jpgSidney Fire Lt. Jason Truesdale demonstrates the ease of using one of the new Hurst vehicle extrication tools to Shelby County Emergency Management Director Cheri Drinkwine as Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass and Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Dallas Davis listen to the explanation of the tool’s many uses. Courtesy photo
New rescue tools demonstrated