Emergency responders meet to discuss how to patrol East End Brid - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Emergency responders meet to discuss how to patrol East End Bridge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The people responsible for keeping drivers safe on the East End Bridge now have a game plan.

The plan is crucial to public safety, with the bridge scheduled to open next month.

That's why emergency responders from both Kentucky and Indiana met Thursday. The parking lot at the Harrods Creek Fire Department was packed with emergency vehicles from more than a dozen Kentuckiana agencies.

"What we are doing now is actually lining out what we call our response plan, our incident action plan," said Chief Kevin Tyler with the Harrods Creek Fire Protection District.

Police, fire, EMS and anyone else responsible for the East End Bridge met behind closed doors to discuss a game plan for keeping drivers safe.

"Communications is a big hurdle," said Chief Eric Hedrick, Jeffersonville Fire Department.

The Harrods Creek and Jeffersonville Fire Departments will likely be first to respond to emergencies on the bridge.

"We just have to do some coordination of the different northbound, southbound travel of whom's going to respond with whom," Chief Hedrick said.

That's why they had the meeting at the fire house instead at the scene of an emergency for the first time.

"Time is ticking," Chief Tyler said. "The clock is ticking."

Meanwhile, inside the room, everyone was getting familiar with a map of the bridge. But there was an elephant in the room.

"December 17th is the day it is scheduled to open," Chief Tyler said.

In October, WDRB News was first to tell you about about Harrods Creek being in danger of losing 15 firefighters, who are specially trained to operate a rescue truck. The extra staff has been funded by the Indiana Department of Transportation to protect construction crews. That is scheduled to end soon.

"We'll be able to carry our staff currently to December 31st, and after that, they're gone," said Chief Tyler, who added that he is desperately trying to find a new source of funding.

"I tell my guys, we are in the plane, the plane is going down, but we are going to take it all the way down to the end to do what we got to do."

The agencies plan to me a few more times before the bridge sees traffic.

Related Stories:

Harrods Creek Fire Department still looking for funding to respond to East End Bridge

Harrods Creek first responders say they lack manpower to handle serious crashes on East End bridge

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