Blocked railroad crossings raising concerns for first responders in Hamilton County
Several railroad crossings in Hamilton County remain a source of frustration for drivers.
Many times the trains are stopped for long periods of time, causing traffic backups.
John Stuermer, executive director of the Hamilton County Emergency Communications District, said it's an issue for first responders as well.
"It becomes really public safety issue for us to be able to understand what the status is for crossing for train and we do see that on a pretty regular basis," Stuermer said.
His team is in charge of taking emergency calls and getting information to the proper response agency across Hamilton County like fire, police and EMS agencies.
Trains holding up emergency response vehicles on the way to an incident remains a problem, Stuermer said.
A Channel 3 employee captured video showing an ambulance waiting for a train at a railroad crossing a few months ago.
While he said the district doesn't keep track of how many times these incidents occur, he said it's a regular issue they face.
He thinks the railroad companies should provide more information to the county.
"The solution is for us emergency communications to know when a train is coming through a certain intersection that we know when that's going to happen and when that train is gone," Stuermer said. "Right now we have none of that information available to us."
He said they are in the beginning stages of exploring all the options.
While they don't have a solution right now, Stuermer said it's encouraging to see Rep. Robin Smith holding public meetings to address the issue.
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