Texas fire dept. using ‘blocker’ apparatus to increase safety
The Irving Fire Department placed the “blocker” rigs into service after nine of their apparatus were struck while blocking over a five-year period
By FireRescue1 Staff
IRVING, Texas — A fire department has placed “blocker” apparatus in service after multiple apparatus were struck while working on some of the busiest stretches in Texas.
WFAA reported that two “blocker” apparatus are now in service at the Irving Fire Department, with three more units coming soon.
"If you were a citizen driving down the road, you would think it was another fire apparatus," Chief Victor Conley said.
The program came about after Chief Conley researched and discovered that the city had paid around $1 million to fix damaged rigs.
"I did some research back in 2015, and Irving has two of the top 100 most congested thoroughfares in the state of Texas, and of course, with all of the construction going on Highway 183, it makes it even more dangerous," Chief Conley said.
He added that some incidents are proving dangerous for firefighters.
"That ladder truck spun 180 degrees and rolled a 360, threw two of my firefighters to the service road and one down the highway,” Chief Conley said. “They were off for several months with their injuries, but thankfully, they all came back to work."
Chief Conley said that his idea was to convert old rigs into blockers instead of auctioning them off. They are now in service with the sole purpose of protecting trucks and responders while they work on the roadway.