The Mesquite Fire Department rolled out an innovative new unit to make the city’s highways safer while emergency personnel are responding to incidents.
The truck-mounted crash barrier, called an attenuator, was put in service on March 1 and is built to protect first responders from distracted drivers.
“Public safety personnel risk their own safety to save lives when there is a crash or other incident on the highways,” said Mesquite Assistant Fire Chief Billy Massey. “The attenuator ‘protects the protectors’ by blocking the scene.”
The new unit, called Blocker 4, provides a two-sectioned bumper between the vehicle and oncoming traffic when fully unfolded. In addition to providing a barricade for emergency responders and tow operators working the accident, the Scorpion is designed to withstand crashes from passing motorists and absorb most of the blow if struck.
Blocker 4 will operate out of Station 4 and will be used for emergency responses in Mesquite on Interstates 635, 20, 30, and U.S. Highway 80. The new equipment was purchased using grant funds, and the city purchased the 25-foot T270 Kenworth truck for $120,000, approved by City Council a year ago.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2021, nearly 240,000 people were injured in car crashes on Texas roadways. According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, nationally 65 emergency responders were struck and killed in 2022 while assisting others on the roadways, with thousands more injured.
City seeks parade participants
Celebrate 65 years of the Mesquite Rodeo Parade on Saturday, April 1.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to showcase your organization in this historic parade that winds through Downtown Mesquite starting at 10 a.m.
Entry is open to all local civic clubs, community groups, sports school clubs, and businesses. Entries are coordinated by the Mesquite Parks and Recreation Department.
Download the Parade Entry Form here: bit.ly/MPARParadeEntry or visit bit.ly/RodeoParade for more information.
From Balch Springs to Mesquite
Susan Cluse, current City Manager for the City of Balch Springs, will assume the role of Assistant City Manager with the City of Mesquite effective July 1, 2023.
“I am excited to have someone of Ms. Cluse’s experience on our team. She has a great background in finance, economic development, and capital program management. She is also a very energetic leader and will make an immediate impact on our community as we continue to experience rapid growth,” stated Mesquite City Manager Cliff Keheley.
Prior to serving as city manager, Cluse served as chief financial officer for the City of Balch Springs and was the assistant director of finance for the City of Lancaster.
“I am thrilled to become a part of the City of Mesquite’s team. I’m looking forward to contributing towards the continued vitality and growth of the city,” Cluse said.
Cluse will be filling the vacancy created by upcoming departure of Ted Chinn, assistant city manager. Chinn is retiring from the City of Mesquite in April after 29 years of service.
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