Emergency responders concerned about CSX road closure

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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EVANS MILLS, New York (WWNY) - First responders in Evans Mills are concerned about a road closure that could cut emergency response times from 2 minutes to 20.

Evans Mills officials notified village residents CSX is temporarily shutting down the Noble Street rail crossing.

“It’s pretty much our direct route toward that side of Evans Mills,” said Amanda Adrian, EMT provider, Evans Mills Volunteer Ambulance Service.

It starts this Sunday and will last a week. There are concerns the detour could lead to longer response times for first responders.

“It’s a huge, huge difference. Like it could be life or death,” said Adrian.

She says Evans Mills Volunteer Ambulance Service makes regular stops at both homes and apartments located on Schell Avenue.

“When we’re going lights and sirens, we’re normally there within a minute or two,” she said.

The village says it has no control over the shutdown. The property is owned by the CSX railway company.

“We’re looking at like 20 to 25 minutes to get around town to come back out this way,” said Adrian.

Planning ahead, the ambulance service has prepared alternate routes to handle calls during the shutdown. The EMTs though are not the only first responders being affected by the street being shut down.

“The workaround currently is that we have a mutual aid agreement with multiple departments around our surrounding areas. We’ve talked to the fire chiefs for Pamelia fire and Theresa fire. They’re on that side and will be able to cover anything until we get there,” said John Russell, assistant chief, Evans Mills Fire Department.

7 News reached out to CSX for a statement. A spokesperson for the company said, “Maintenance like this is essential to the safety of both railway and roadway traffic.”

Additionally, they appreciate the patience of the public as they complete the work.