Safety first: Rescue must obey traffic laws

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By Jeff Moore

Carroll County Rescue Squad officers and members will no longer be allowed to put a flashing light on a personal vehicle, use a siren or speed to the scene of an accident.

A new policy adopted by Carroll County Fiscal Court Tuesday requires all rescue squad members and officers to “obey all traffic signals, signs and laws.”

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said the policy is needed after several recent accidents involving rescue personnel who were responding to calls.

He said this is needed for safety reasons and should not significantly affect response time.

The new policy states that rescue squad volunteers are required to follow the basic training recommendations from the county’s insurance company at all times.

“Carroll County Rescue Squad officers and members shall not exceed 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit while responding in any Carroll County owned vehicles, including but not limited to Unit 701 and Unit 702,” the policy states. Anyone driving must be age 21 or older and have completed the required annual drivers training before they will be allowed to operate any of the county-owned vehicles.

Sheriff Jamie Kinman asked if the new policy applies to members of the fire departments in the county.

Tomlinson said they are independent organizations, so it would not apply. However, he said he believes they should adopt such a policy for safety reasons.

He said that two fire department members responding in their personal vehicles hit each other on the way to one recent call.

“I would urge the fire departments to take similar action,” he said.

Some departments may already have this policy in place, Tomlinson said. Within the city of Carrollton, the policy would be at the discretion of council.

Clayton named county road supervisor

Tomlinson said he has consulted with judge-executive elect Bobby Lee Westrick on naming a new county roads supervisor. They have agreed to name Gene Clayton to the post.

The appointment will be for the next five months left in Tomlinson’s term of office. He will have to be appointed once the new judge-executive and fiscal court take office in January.

Clayton has an associates degree and has extensive experience with road work, having worked with Ohio Valley Asphalt for more than 17 years. Clayton is currently employed by KBR, a contractor working at the Kentucky Utilities Ghent operating station. His salary will begin at about $40,000.

County disposes of tires, applies again

Fiscal Court voted Tuesday to apply for a $4,000 grant for the state’s 2015 tire collection and removal program. Tomlinson said the grant application is due into the state this month. Carroll County disposed of 11,267 tires in the 2014 collection program, part of the 103,538 collected in the Northern Kentucky counties. Tomlinson said the program is working because the number of tires here is down considerably. “I’d have to say this was successful,” he said.

County seeks state funds for parking

Tomlinson sought and received fiscal court approval Tuesday to ask the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts for funding to expand parking at the Wheeler Hall of Justice on Clay Street. He brought photos of the parking problem for magistrates who were already aware of it.

“It was full,” District 2 Magistrate Dean Miller said.

District 3 Magistrate Mark Bates said he was one of the people looking for a parking space because he was called for jury duty. Tomlinson said AOC turned down a previous request, saying it did not have the funds to purchase the quarter-acre lot across the road from the courthouse. However, he said he believes it is worth taking the request back to AOC to see if funding can now be secured.


Tax rate set for motor vehicles, watercraft

Fiscal Court Tuesday approved the 2014 tax rate on motor vehicles and watercraft, holding it the same as last year. The rate remains at 15.3 cents per $100 assessed value. Tomlinson asked to approve this rate so it can be submitted to the state. Other rates will be set as fiscal court votes to certify the other tax rates for county taxing authorities, he said.