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Springfield Fire Department purchasing new tool to improve response times

Thomas Clatterbuck

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During a fire, response time is critical. And in most of Springfield, response times are generally good. Once they get the call, the Springfield Fire Department is only about four minutes away. But in the southwest corridor, the response time is eight minutes – double the citywide average.

Typically, longer response times are due to greater distances from a fire station. But in this case, traffic, not distance, is the real culprit. With more than 27,000 vehicles per day using Veterans Parkway, even emergency vehicles can find it slow going.

To shorten the response time, the Springfield Fire Department is purchasing a “traffic preemption” system for use in the southwest corridor. These systems help control the flow of traffic to clear the way for emergency vehicles. By adjusting stoplight patterns, the system can ensure these vehicles have the right-of-way to their destination. This results in lower response times and better safety for first responders.

At an upfront cost of $141,000, the selected system is more expensive than some other options. However, this cost was justified by the lower ongoing costs. A cell-based system has higher service bills over the long run. This system is also expandable to other areas of the city. Fortunately, some of the cost of the new system will be picked up by the Foreign Fire Insurance Board.

Once the purchase is approved at the next city council meeting, installation will take 60 to 90 days.

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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LIVE | Chatham Village Board Meeting November 13th

Staff Contributor

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Follow along live with the Chatham Village Board. They will be discussing the village’s finances and pension liability. Next year’s tax levy will also be planned.

Additionally, the Glenwood High School Boys Cross County team was recognized for winning their state contest.

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LIVE | Springfield City Council committee of the whole November 13th

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Follow along live with the Springfield City Council committee of the whole.

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Announcements

Ward 2 ward meeting tonight

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The ward meeting for Ward 2 is tonight at 5:30 PM  at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (908 S. Martin Luther King Drive). Residents are encouraged to come out to meet with their Alderman, Herman Senor, and Mayor Jim Langfelder to discuss the issues they see in the ward and the city.

If you aren’t sure which ward you live in, please check the online map https://www.springfield.il.us/Citizens/WardMap.pdf.

Don’t live in Ward 2? Check out the dates for other upcoming ward meetings:

  • Ward 2 – Alderman Senor: Thursday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 1 – Alderman Redpath: Monday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 5 – Alderman Proctor and Ward 6 – Alderwoman DiCenso: Wednesday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ward 9 – Alderman Donelan and Ward 10 – Alderman Hanauer: Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.

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