Law Enforcement Receive Traffic Safety Grants

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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County law enforcement agencies have received grant funding to enhance traffic safety.

The Santa Barbara Police Department received a $210,000 grant and the Goleta Police Department received a $78,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to assist the department’s efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on city roads through September 2021.

“These are trying times, and now more than ever, it is important that we are at the forefront of traffic safety,” said Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Michael Brown. “This funding allows us to educate and enhance the safety of all residents.”

Both departments plan to fund patrols with emphasis on alcohol and drug-impaired driving prevention, awareness and education of California’s hands-free cell phone law, traffic rights for bicyclists and pedestrians, and more.

“These are trying times, and now more than ever, it is important that we are at the forefront of traffic safety,” Sergeant John Maxwell, who leads the Goleta Police Department’s Traffic Unit, said. “This funding allows us to educate and enhance the safety of all residents.”

Additionally, OTS awarded Santa Barbara County Fire Department a $74,000.00 grant for the purchase of new battery-powered extrication equipment that will be used to rescue crash victims. Known as the “Jaws of Life,” first
responders use these rescue tools to break apart a wrecked vehicle with victims trapped inside. The tools help reduce the time it takes to rescue and treat crash victims. 

So far this year, Santa Barbara County Fire has responded to 475 vehicle accidents in which 28 required extrication.

“This newer equipment is lighter and easier to use, allowing us to rescue victims faster, which ultimately increases their chances of survival,” said Santa Barbara County Fire Department Operations Division Chief Woody Enos. “In many cases, even minutes without treatment can be a matter of life and death, which is why it is important to have reliable equipment that allows first responders to provide care as quickly as possible.”

Delays in extrication can negatively impact the patient’s critical “golden hour” of trauma survivability. The “golden hour” for Emergency Medical Services is the core principle of rapid intervention in trauma cases: 1) get to the patient quickly, 2) treat what can be treated on scene, and 3) quickly get the patient to the right hospital. Anything that can be done to reduce each of these time periods aids in patient survival and recovery.

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