Omaha firefighters adapting to road closures

Published: Mar. 29, 2018 at 4:08 PM CDT
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We are not alone when it comes to facing the challenge of navigating our way around all of the road construction these days.

Those who need to get around town for emergencies are planning ahead and prepared. Assistant Omaha Fire Chief Kathy Bossman says it’s all about adapting.

“The public safety is obviously our top priority. We want to get to our emergency scenes as quickly and as safely as possible,” Bossman said. “We receive updates regularly from the city planning department and the public works department.”

Those updates detail road closures, lane restrictions and information on how long those closures will be in place.

“Our firefighters work regularly to pre-plan alternate routes,” added Bossman.

Firefighters use a mobile data terminal, a mapping system that shows them the location they're in route to.

“They can see the neighboring streets so if they need to go a block or two out of the way and access that address from a different route, they're able to do that,” Bossman said.

Bossman tells 6 News it's not uncommon for the crews to request a different apparatus response if they think that apparatus can get there more quickly. They see this happen most often during rush hour.

Officials say, like anything else, delays can happen, but the Omaha Fire Department is doing everything it can to get to you quickly and safely.

Bossman says we as drivers can also help firefighters respond efficiently by moving over and getting out of the way sooner. She says often times it's distracted drivers causing the most delays.