H.E.L.P. trucks should be listed as emergency vehicles
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H.E.L.P. is Highway Emergency Local Patrol. Its a program run by NYSDOT and NYSP and operated by a 3rd party company. We patrol NYS highways for any potential hazards, disabled vehicles or accidents. Our job duties vary from helping a disabled motorist to responding to accidents, fires, vehicles stuck in the lanes of travel or any other road hazards.
We are CPR, first aid, AED, incident response and FEMA certified. We also are activated when there is a new york state of emergency. Such as blizzards and hurricanes.
The vehicle and traffic law regarding classification of emergency vehicles is not specific enough to include us as 1st responders. It does state that any vehicle that is dispatched from a 911 dispatch center wether it be personal or commercial that responds to an incident and works the incident is considered to be an emergency vehicle.
Other states such as Ohio that have this program and perform the same duties as us are considered emergency vehicles. It says it right on their websites.
The NYSDOT and the 3rd party company are planning on removing our red lights and Sirens as they do not consider us 1st responders.
This is a change that will put all the HELP drivers and the motorists at risk. Our trucks and drivers have been hit on the side of the road quite a few times myself included. At an accident scene we are usually first on scene and have to assess the incident and have 911 dispatch send the proper agencies to respond. Time is critical. When the other agencies arrive, We protect the other first responders and the people involved in the incident from being struck by careless drivers.
We have had drivers respond to vehicles that were on fire and pull the driver out and to safety. As well as assist with diabetic emergencies..
Our trucks carry a basic first aid kit, mechanical tools, speedy dry for hazmat conditions and fire extinguishers.
We are criticized by the 3rd party company and told not to use our siren or red lights and told not to expedite to a scene.
Im asking everyone who reads this to please sign the petition and help with the safety of the public and our drivers so that we can hopefully be able to get this law clarified to include HELP trucks in it as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read and sign.
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