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Fire truck wrecks spur policy review

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POSTED: May 22, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Several accidents involving emergency vehicles being driven by volunteers has prompted the Liberty County Commission to look at tightening its policies.  
The commission provides insurance for the municipal and community volunteer fire departments in the county
For most drivers, there is criteria drivers must meet in order to operate a county vehicle, Assistant County Administrator Bob Sprinkel said. To meet these codes, drivers cannot accrue multiple traffic tickets in a given year, they cannot have been convicted of a DUI and they cannot be involved in any serious accidents.
There was a loophole in the policy though, and not all of the drivers were screened, he said. The policy went under a review, and in this week’s Liberty County Commission meeting, the gap was closed so now all drivers are screened.
This issue came up over the past year as there were four accidents among volunteer fire truck drivers, County Fire Coordinator James Ashdown said.
“We have had several accidents with fire trucks in the past year, and we have had no guidelines for these volunteers to cover them,” Liberty-Hinesville EMA Director Tom Burriss said.
Ashdown said the accidents were minor, but that they did raise enough alarm to extend the policy over all drivers.
“We take safety seriously and we are trying to make the work environment safer, and this is an important step in accomplishing our goal,” he said.
Even in light of these governmental actions, the obvious question remains as to why not all drivers were screened in the first place. 
 

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