MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - The Monette Fire Department made a quick safety purchase to look out for first responders.
"We have got to keep our crew safe during traffic control out there," Monette Fire Chief David Clark said of the new Highway 18 bypass.
Since the new bypass opened recently, first responders are now faced with more safety risks.
"This is new to us, this many lanes," Clark said.
So, Clark said the fire department purchased reflecting vests, handheld lights and additional lights for rescue trucks.
He said this specifically comes after the opening of the new bypass, especially the dangers at the intersection of the bypass and Highway 139.
Clark said they've already responded to 14 accidents since it opened.
The purchase comes after Clark noticed the traffic does not slow down while responders are at the crash sites.
"People are just not paying attention to our lights and what we are doing and our guys standing out there in the road," he said. "That's why we've purchased all this stuff for their safety, we just need people to slow down because it's pretty tough out there."
He asks drivers to be patient and be very cautious while driving through the intersection as some people are still getting used to the new traffic pattern.
"Luckily none of these crashes have been very severe, but it could be and we've got to keep everyone safe," Clark said. "That is our job."