Officials Estimate Intersection and Road Closure Until Wednesday Afternoon
GALLATIN – The Gallatin Police Department reports a dump truck struck power, cable, and traffic signal lines at the Airport and Coles Ferry Road intersection. There were no injuries associated with the incident. The intersection will be closed for the remainder of the day and could be expected to remain closed until Wednesday afternoon. City of Gallatin public utility workers are on the site now, but are stressing alternate routes during the afternoon commute. Airport Road will be closed at Albion Circle and at Woodcrest Drive. Coles Ferry Road will be closed at Bales Street and at Meadowview Drive.
More Staff Requested in City Budget to Meet Demand of Emergency Requests
Gallatin, TN – The Gallatin Fire Department (GFD) reports a majority of their emergency calls are not related to extinguishing fires, and the public may not understand the diverse role of the department as well as the men and women who carry the title of firefighter. More than 70% of calls from 911 and directly to the local dispatch are for emergencies unrelated to fires, including automobile accidents, medical emergencies, water related emergencies, and hazardous material containment.
“The title of firefighter might be better described as an emergency responder because they are tasked with responding to and mitigating so many different situations unrelated to actual fire suppression,” said Fire Chief Victor Williams. “The scenarios are limitless, but they can include addressing gas or carbon monoxide leaks, rescuing people or animals trapped in cars, providing emergency medical services, and assisting with containing chemical spills or releases on special operation calls. Gallatin is unique in that these incidents can take place at a residence, business, manufacturing plant, highway, or even on one of our railways or barges.”
Every firefighter must complete demanding physical and academic tests at the State Fire and Codes Academy in Bell Buckle before becoming a certified firefighting member of the Gallatin Fire Department. Students not only learn the basics of controlling fires with pumps and hoses, but also hazardous material incident mitigation, administering medical assistance, confined space rescue techniques, fire codes inspection, and rappelling for high-angle rescues. The intensive 400-hour training course includes classroom instruction, physical fitness training, and live firefighting practice.
From June 2015 to June 2016, the Gallatin Fire Department responded to 3,830 emergency calls. Approximately three percent of those were classified as fires, seventy percent were medical emergencies, and twenty-seven percent were motor vehicle accidents, rescue, non-life threatening requests for assistance, and false alarms.
Chief Williams is often asked why the fire department responds in unison with ambulances in a medical emergency. “It’s redundant by design. Every minute counts, so if we can be the first on the scene to begin lifesaving procedures it is often the difference between life and death. The heart of the matter is protecting our residents. In the final analysis, it is GFD’s responsibility to protect our citizenry by providing the very best service possible.”
Gallatin’s City Council is currently finalizing the 2016-17 budget, and the GFD has recommended raising the number of entry-level fire fighters by 10 employees. This increase will bring Gallatin to the standard of fire apparatus supervision and closer to meeting the staffing requirement as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Additionally, the City Council is evaluating the need to build a fire station on the south side of Gallatin over the next 12-18 months.
Project Connects Two-Mile Corridor of Bike and Pedestrian Trails and Streetscaping
Gallatin – The City of Gallatin is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, June 1st at 9 a.m. officially announcing completion of the Town Creek Greenway. The project achieves the long-term goal of connecting three sections of Greenways together into one unified walking trail.
“This has been a part of the plan to revitalize the city and give everyone easy access to exercise, restaurants, and enjoy downtown entertainment,” said Paige Brown, Gallatin Mayor. “It’s really exciting to add another beautiful attraction to the city that can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.”
Construction of the Town Creek Greenway corridor connects two previously completed greenway projects. The city began the project in 2004, and built a walkway from the entrance of Triple Creek Park to Barton/Perolee. The second phase was finished in 2012 and continued the pedestrian and bicycle route to Wilmore Street. The last section continues from Wilmore to a trailhead at College Street and continues to N. Water and Franklin Street. The development of the Town Creek Greenway also allowed the city to add new sidewalks, landscape islands, decorative lighting, and paving on N. Water from E. Eastland to Franklin.
Development of the greenway system was made possible through a federally-funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation where 84%, or approximately $4,620,000, was paid by state and federal grants. The city’s share was 16% or approximately $880,000.
“Transportation enhancement grants provide cities the opportunity to fund the restoration of bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping, streetscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Deputy Commissioner Toks Omishakin. “The new greenway provides bicyclists and pedestrians a safer passage for traveling along Town Creek without having to drive a car.”
City officials along with delegates from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Health will hold a ribbon cutting on June 1st at 9 a.m at the Town Creek Greenway at the corner N. Water Avenue and E. Eastland Avenue.