Midland Fire Department gets up to speed on driving safety

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Midland Fire Department is putting their foot on the pedal and getting up to speed on driving safety.

More cars on the road means more accidents and civilian's cars aren't the only ones getting in car wrecks. This year there have been three accidents involving fire trucks and civilian cars.

"The amount of wrecks have definitely increased. We've had a few of our own vehicles involved in accidents here in the past few months, more than normal, and I think it's just due to the influx of traffic," Fire Department Training Battalion Chief Kevin Douthit said.

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service came to Midland to educate Midland Fire Fighters on road safety.

"Whatever tools they need to make the best, informed decisions while they're out there on the road," Douthit said.

Douthit says people on the roads need to help when it comes to driving safely.

"What we are trained is for people to go right and so we are going to go left. Even if we are in the turning lanes, our tendency is to go left, so please pull right," Douthit said.  

A fire truck can weigh up to 54,000 pounds, which makes it hard for them to stop on a dime, especially if they are moving fast for an emergency.

"When we become a part of the emergency, that delays the response for the people that did call 9-1-1. Now we are involved in our own accident and we will have to dispatch another unit which extends that response time and a lot of times minutes could mean lives," Douthit said.  

In April, the Midland Fire Department will continue their training and use a driving simulator.

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