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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Training focuses on traffic management

  • Mark Billquist acknowledges drivers approaching emergency vehicles along the side of the road don't always do what police officers or firefighters want them to do.
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  • Mark Billquist acknowledges drivers approaching emergency vehicles along the side of the road don't always do what police officers or firefighters want them to do.
    Billquist, an instructor for a traffic incident management course, said things such as cell phones may distract the attention of drivers. The results sometimes can be deadly as emergency responders, or other workers, are struck by vehicles.
    Billquist and other instructors were offering training this week in Leavenworth to help keep people safe as emergency responders stop at the scene of accidents or traffic stops. The four-hour traffic incident management class was offered three times during the week at the headquarters of the Leavenworth Fire Department. Today was the last day for the training.
    Attendees included members of the Leavenworth Fire Department, Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, Fort Leavenworth Fire Department, Leavenworth County EMS, Leavenworth Police Department and Leavenworth County Public Works Department.
    Billquist, who also is the chief of the Stranger Township Fire Department, said people may have had the mentality in the past that managing traffic at a scene is the responsibility of police officers.
    "It's everybody's job on scene," he said.
    The training included videos of crashes that occurred as emergency responders were working along the side of roads. Many of the videos were captured by police vehicle in-car cameras.
    "Our highways aren't going to be bigger, but traffic is going to get heavier," Billquist said.
    He said the class previously was taught in Tonganoxie.
    "We're just trying to get it out to al the departments," he said.
    Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lingenfelser said the class gave Leavenworth firefighters the opportunity to share information about what they do when responding to calls along the side of roads with members of other agencies.

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