I Wonder: Why are street sweepers working AM rush?


by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay


Posted on October 25, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Why do they send a fire truck for a heart attack? I've heard the answer before but it's so complex I forgot.

-MJ via Twitter

Turns out the answer isn't complex - it's a matter of timing and proximity. Boise Police and Fire spokesperson Lynn Hightower says that because there are more firefighters in more locations, they can often reach victims of heart attacks and other medical conditions more quickly than paramedics.

Firefighters are trained in emergency medical response and often arrive first, followed by a paramedic crew.

Boise Fire crews have employee paramedics trained in lifesaving skills - and fire stations are placed around the city to respond to most locations within an average of about four minutes.

Hightower says the chances of survival are much higher if a patient can get access to basic lifesaving procedures - like CPR - survival rates rise dramatically.

She says there's an added benefit: in cases where a patient has to be transported to the hospital via ambulance, a firefighter can drive while the medics attend to the patient.

How come I saw a street sweeper roaming the roads during AM rush hour?

-JF via Twitter

While we don't have specific information on where JF spotted the sweeper - we checked into the situation in Ada County.

Robbie Johnson with the Ada County Highway District says that street sweepers try not to get in the way during rush hour. They try avoid main roads - or at very least work in the opposite direction of traffic

In addition to their regular duties keeping streets clean and tidy, crews work with police after accidents to clean up debris.

"Those crews actually work with law enforcement to respond to incidents or accidents to respond to debris on the road. If a dump truck drops a bunch of gravel on the road, or an accident leaves behind debris, they'll go out to that," Johnson said.

This time of year, street sweepers are out in force cleaning up the sand left behind on roads after the snow melts away. Instead of waiting until the winter is over, ACHD starts cleanup operations as soon as the latest storm moves out. Crews start with heavily travelled areas first and then move to side streets.


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