First responders have a dangerous job, especially when an emergency takes them up onto our roadways. That’s why one officer who almost lost his life, is pleading with the public to help keep them alive.
Outside the Brown County Sheriff’s Office first responders gather to ask the driving public to help them stay safe.
“We need to slow down, move over and be careful,” said one representative from the WisDOT.
“Any time you step out of a patrol car, a fire truck, rescue squad, all public safety officers are put in danger,” said Ashwaubenon Public Safety Chief, Eric Dunning.
They are here to raise public awareness of that danger during Traffic Incident Response week. To help protect first responders like Ashwaubenon Public Safety Officer Brian Murphy.
“About a year and a half ago I was struck by a vehicle on the freeway,” Murphy said.
Murphy was directing traffic on I-41 during a car fire in July of 2017, when a drunk driver hit him, causing critical injuries. After weeks in the hospital and months of recovery he returned to duty in January.
“Officer Murphy is a walking miracle, just for him to return back to service is a pure miracle,” Dunning said.
Between 2013 and 2017, more than 242 crashes annually involved at least one emergency vehicle engaged in an emergency response. But these first responders say those numbers can be reduced. Saying if you see flashing lights on the side of the road, just slow down and move over.
“It’s something that every driver should be aware of and what every driver can do to save a lot of lives,” Murphy said.
A plea for help from the state’s first responders – who daily risk their lives on Wisconsin’s roadways.