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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

BLOG, how blogs can be better than traditional media

Saturday, Proviso Probe had an entry about the collision between an ambulance and a motorist.

I didn't expect the entry to be noteworthy. It was just something that happened in the community.

"Public Safety" informed me of the OptiCom system for traffic signal preemption. The system switches the lights so emergency vehicles can get the green lights/right of way.

"Firefighter for a long time" made some useful observations too.
Opticoms are great, they make traveling lights and sirens safer for everyone. The problem lies when an approaching motorist sees the light changes green and if they don’t look up in time to see it went back to red. No one expects the light to change to red 10 seconds after it goes green. Traffic light cycles like normal (yellow-red) but nobody expects it as quick as it comes.

S/he went on to write:
Anyone operating an emergency vehicle should have to go through mandatory training. Even if you have a green light you should be slowing and covering the brake. Green light does not mean the intersection is clear. Some departments mandate even if you have the green light to come almost to a complete stop at intersections before proceeding. I am not going to try and guess what happened or why without an investigation or report.

S/he also drew attention to the website FireFighterCloseCalls.com.

This story illustrates the power of blogging. The most informed people reading a blog almost always know more about at least part of the story than the people writing the blog. This is also true in newspapers, radio and television. However, blogs allow for the audience to make contributions. So, if a blog has a knowledgeable audience it can be a much more powerful source of information than a traditional media outlet.

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  • Thank You for the comments Carl: Note worthy Change from the opticom web site link. The Opticom system in Illinois does the oposite of how it is designed in regards to the flood lights. IDOT in its wisdom wants the flood to flash in the direction of the emergency vehicle and be on solid in the red light direction. It (IDOT)also will not allow for only the emergency vehicle to have the green. If Im going North, North and South will turn green. IDOT will not allow it any other way I do not know why. In other words its not as safe as it could be. Oncoming cars can still turn in front of us too avoid having to wait for the emergecny vehicle to pass and they do!

    By Anonymous Firefighter for a long time, at 5:45 PM, February 13, 2007  

  • Carl this is a great example of what a local blog can do. I have also been lucky enough to get some info from some insiders in Shiawassee County. As a result I have had some great results in the local media.


    Check out the Argus Press section. That was huge, and it all started because of a comment on one of my posts.

    Keep up the good work!

    By Blogger Christine, at 7:54 PM, February 15, 2007  

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