Congestion, Safety Concerns Near Amelon Elementary

Monelison, VA - The Amherst County public safety director says a new public safety building wouldn't just help the people who work inside, but also those who use a road hundreds of school children travel on every day.

The new building would put the Monelison Rescue Squad and Monelison Volunteer Fire Department under one roof and move them away from Amelon Elementary school.

Between ambulances backing up, fire trucks pulling out, and school buses pulling in - rescue workers are worried it's only a matter of time until something collides.

"It's's coming," said Captain Vicki Padgett.

Padgett says school buses and parents trying to get into and out of Amelon Elementary school often ignore the signs and block the rescue squad's driveway. She says sometimes that forces ambulances onto the opposite side of the road to respond to calls.

Volunteer firefighters trying to get to Route 29 are facing the same problem. The congestion can mean a longer response time for rescue crews, or even a safety hazard for parents.

"You've got a school right here, you've got a fire department here, you've got the EMS unit right here," Ricky Dunn said, pointing to the buildings that surround his granddaughter's elementary school.

"If we can do something to eliminate those hazards, then we're improving safety for our community and also for our providers," said Gary Roakes.

Roakes says it's just another reason a new public safety building makes sense.

"The goal is to leave this building and come back safely and in one piece," added Padgett.

It could be several months before the board makes a decision on the new public safety building.

This Tuesday, the board of supervisors could decide to enter into a contract with the rescue squad and volunteer fire department. They'd still have to decide on funding and draw up plans for the project before even officially signing off.