By Aila Boyd
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to authorize the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to utilize up to $45,000 from the county volunteer fire departments budget for installation of flashing fire/EMS warning signs at the US 460/Blue Ridge Springs Road intersection last Tuesday.
The money that will be used for the project will come from current year savings that Jason Ferguson, the chief of fire and EMS for the county, identified.
The warning signs will alert motorists on US 460 of approaching emergency vehicles from the Blue Ridge Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department on Blue Ridge Springs Road.
“There’s currently not a means for providing forewarning for vehicles traveling east or west bound,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson noted that the county has been working to address the matter for roughly five years.
He went on to explain that old equipment was considered. However, it was determined that the best route for installing signs would be to purchase new equipment. The new equipment, he said, will be solar powered and remote controlled.
An evaluation by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the county’s Department of Fire & EMS found that fire and EMS warning signage, coupled with remote controlled flashing lights, will allow motorists enough time to properly react to an approaching apparatus.
VDOT also supplied the county with estimated pricing from a similar project that was completed in the area, a list of contractors experienced in the installation of similar systems, and information on the type of equipment needed to meet its regulation standards.
The county will utilize an informal invitation for bid process once it starts searching for contractors.
It was noted that the Botetourt County Transportation Safety Commission is supportive of the project.