Streetsboro -- The Streetsboro Fire Department has been awarded a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security for $93,600.
The city will provide a 5 percent local share, or $4,930, toward the purchase of two Genesis Rescue Systems from Howell Rescue Systems, which cost $98,600. This extrication equipment will replace the old rescue systems that have become ineffective and outdated, he said.
"One is about 18 or 20 years old," said Reinholz. "The other is about 15."
"The city has been aggressively pursuing grants for the fire department," said Mayor Glenn Broska.
"The current extrication equipment that we have is usable, but old," Broska said. "We're not taking the old stuff out of service. But it will go on a truck that will not be our primary response vehicle."
This secondary truck would be available in case a second accident were to occur while the primary vehicle was in the middle of another rescue call. Duplicate pieces also allow the department to get the most out of the equipment. With the old equipment placed on another truck, it can be used for its full life span.
The old equipment wasn't enough, Reinholz said. It wasn't strong enough to cut through newer cars.
"These are the jaws of life," said Reinholz. "Whenever there is a car wreck and someone is pinned inside, we bring out the spreader and cutter and cut the car away from them."
With the frequency of these types of accidents, new extrication systems are required.
"These accidents come in spurts, usually in the summer," said Reinholz. "But I have seen more accidents in two years in Streetsboro than 20 years in Cleveland Heights."
Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers attributes this to the number of state routes that run through the city.
"A majority of our crashes occur on our state routes, due to the higher traffic volume on those roadways," Powers said.
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study recently came out with their three-year traffic study (2010-12) that shows the intersection of routes 43 and 14 as having the highest traffic volume of any intersection in Summit or Portage counties. The study shows an average of nearly 54,000 vehicles pass through that intersection daily.
Nearly 33,000 cars per day travel the section of Route 14 between Interstate 480 and Route 303 west. With such a high number of vehicles on the road, there is going to be a higher crash rate than other cities that do not see that many cars, said Powers.
"We also have some sections of our state routes with speed limits of 40, 45, or 50 mph," said Powers. "With those higher speed limits, that plays a factor in the seriousness of crashes."