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WAPELLO — Emergency dispatchers and area fire chiefs will be contacted by Louisa County Supervisor Chair Brad Quigley, after the supervisors learned Tuesday about recent communication breakdowns involving county road and bridge closures.

County engineer Larry Roehl, assistant county engineer Adam Shutt and maintenance supervisor Steve Bell raised the issue during the regular update Roehl and Shutt normally provide during the supervisors’ weekly meeting.

“We wanted to touch base on how we are handling bridge and road closures,” Shutt started off this week’s update.

Shutt said under the current procedures, when a bridge or road is closed, signs are set out and then either he or Bell contacts the dispatchers at the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and alerts them to the closures.

He also said a posting is placed on the secondary roads’ Facebook page.

However, there have been recent breakdowns in the line of communication, which have forced firefighters and other emergency teams responding to calls to backtrack because roads they had been told were open were still closed.

“It happened three weeks when I called in, and then (Steve) called in Sunday and reiterated it yesterday, and there have been a couple of times where it hasn’t been passed along,” Shutt reported.

According to Bell and Shutt, one incident involved a fire truck responding to a call and another time an ambulance was blocked and needed to use an alternate route.

Quigley, who serves on Wapello Fire and Rescue, said under the current dispatching system, firefighters can use the I Am Responding app on their smart phones, which provides the firefighters with the best route to get to a reported incident.

“I think I Am Responding can redirect (because of detours), so I’m wondering if it’s not getting communicated to I Am Responding. It doesn’t sound like it is,” he said.

Bell, however, suggested the problem was not related to the app.

“It’s not even getting communicated to the next dispatcher,” he said.

Bell said that was apparent because he had received an irate call later on Monday from a dispatcher complaining because there was no road closure on 115th Street. That was the road Bell said he had initially reported on Sunday as being closed and then repeated the closure on Monday.

“What do you recommend?” Quigley asked the road department staff.

“I don’t know if we can do much more than call in and (report) it,” Shutt answered, adding a group discussion with everyone in the same room or perhaps a strong message from the supervisors might help.

Quigley agreed some action needed to be taken.

“We just about lost a truck, and that’s a couple hundred thousand dollars,” Quigley acknowledged about the latest incident.

“That’s bad if it happens, but it wouldn’t have been our fault because we signed it and called it in,” Shutt said.

“I’ll talk to dispatch and then I’ll talk to the chiefs and get their perspective and if we need to set up a meeting, I’ll tell,” Quigley said.

In other action, the supervisors:

• Approved the 10-lot Concord Ridge Subdivision southeast of Morning Sun.

• Learned levee repairs near Oakville should begin later this week.

• Received monthly department updates on veteran affairs and public health.

• Learned the footings for one pier of the replacement Highway 99 bridge at Wapello had been poured.

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