The South Hill Volunteer Fire Department has a new piece of equipment intended to keep emergency responders safe at accident scenes. As part of the national “move over” campaign, the department has repurposed a vehicle and outfitted it with cones, signs, lights, and a flashing arrow to give motorists advance warning that they need to move over and to tell them in which lane they need to be. Deputy Chief Michael Vaughan said that Walmart contributed funding to purchase the lighted sign now affixed to the back of the truck, and the project was also made possible by members of the community, the town, and the firefighters who did the repurposing.
Vaughan said he hopes the vehicle will provide emergency workers with more protection.
“Our First Responders risk their lives every day by serving and protecting us” Vaughan said in a statement. “It is vital that everyone slows down and moves over when they see emergency lights on an incident scene.”
Vaughan said the vehicle is now responding to all traffic incidents.
“The unit is equipped with a 72" sign board that can be seen over a mile away, advanced emergency warning lights, traffic cones, and accident ahead signs,” Vaughan said. “We hope that this will protect us more while working at MVC's by alerting traffic early, thus preventing any first responder from being struck on the highways.”
Fire Chief Rosser Wells voiced his appreciation for the community’s support that has made the new equipment possible.
“One of the most dangerous things our firefighters respond to are motor vehicle accidents, especially on interstates and major highways,” Wells said in a statement. “I am sure by now most people know about the move over campaign that requires motorists to move over to another lane when coming up on emergency workers at an accident scene. With a generous grant from the Walmart corporation, the South Hill Volunteer Fire Department has joined this effort by installing a sign board on one of our pickups that will be seen at accidents that hopefully people will recognize and move over and protect our emergency workers. We would like to thank Walmart and the citizens in our community that support us and allow us to do what we do.”