Using the township’s best fire truck as a protective wall “just didn’t make sense,” said Klussman.
“We were out a ladder truck for a year while they (manufacturers) made one because they don’t just sit on a lot somewhere,” waiting to be purchased, he said.
Using the Sutphen pumper truck, valued at less than $8,000, “makes much more sense.”
The agreement, which is a now a memorandum of understanding, creates a traffic crash unit to be dispatched to stretches of national and state highways crisscrossing portions of Liberty, West Chester and Monroe.
These highly traveled, high-speed roads include Interstate 75, Ohio 129 and Ohio 63, said Klussman.
The shared, protective truck is expected to be used more than 100 times annually, he said.
It’s a first joint-operating agreement for Butler County of this type, he said.
“It’s done in Texas and that’s actually where I got the idea after attending a conference for the international association of fire chiefs.”
“This is going to make first responders much safer as they work on high-speed (roadways). And it will slow traffic down a little bit but that’s part of the design of it,” he said, adding the truck will be outfitted with high-visibility lighting and warning signs.
The blocker truck is expected to be ready for use, he said, in August.