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Suggested solution settles snowplow set sites

January 27, 2011

    A solution, suggested by officials in Wells County, has been found to handle the placement of Adams County Highway Department drivers so they can quickly assist fire departments, ambulances, etc. during massive snowstorms.
    The solution, outlined by highway superintendent Mark Mitchel to the county commissioners this week, is to select four of the 16 drivers who live no more than a mile from Decatur, Berne, Preble, and Geneva and let each of them take a county dump truck with a plow home when a big winter storm is in the forecast.
    Each driver would be responsible for keeping that truck immediately available for use, so the time lag would be as limited as possible to get to a fire station or to where an emergency medical service ambulance is located and to assist such personnel.
    The four drivers would be reimbursed by the county for two hours of work each time they are called upon for this extra duty.
    There is no need for such a solution at Monroe because the highway department garage is three blocks from the fire station.
    Representatives from the five fire departments in the county attended the meeting and agreed with the idea, leaving it up to Mitchel to select the four drivers.
    It was also stated that the four drivers will be given pagers or handheld radios so they can be informed of weather changes, updates, etc.
    The placing of the plows had been the subject of a lengthy discussion, involving a large number of emergency personnel from around the county, at the commissioners' meeting a week earlier.

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