Chelsea approves traffic safety ordinance, hears fire equipment update

CHELSEA – The Chelsea City Council at its Jan. 5 meeting approved traffic safety and surplus property ordinances before listening to an update regarding Chelsea Fire and Rescue equipment.

The traffic safety ordinance prohibits people from congregating with and walking among vehicles stopped at any intersection and soliciting motorists or passengers on U.S. 280 in the Chelsea city limits.

The ordinance does not apply to emergency personnel, occupants of vehicles that become inoperable at an intersection or when traffic signals at an intersection are inoperable.

It also excludes pedestrians crossing from one side of U.S. 280 or an intersecting road to the opposite side.

The other ordinance declares a piece of city property as surplus and authorizes the sale of the property.

During the community forum, Chelsea Fire Chief Joe Lee praised the department’s employees for their work and shared equipment updates.

“2020 was a challenging year for the Chelsea Fire Department,” Lee said. “I am very proud of those guys up there and the way they stepped up and handled things. You’ve got a great group of firefighters here in this city.”

Lee said the Shelby County Fire and EMS Association recognized the late Wayne Shirley, Chelsea’s former fire chief, for his lengthy service to the county with the Lifetime of Service to Shelby County Award.

Shirley’s sister, Deborah Dawkins, attended the organization’s meeting to receive the award.

“Wayne did have a long career in this county,” Lee said. “He did a lot for this county, so it was nice that they recognized him.”

Lee said the fire department was able to secure funds through the CARES Act for new equipment, including heart monitors, AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and CPR devices.

“We use them on pretty much every medical call that we have,” Lee said. “We’re able to have those on all of our vehicles now.”

Lee said the department also installed a Zoom system at all of the city’s fire stations to enable personnel to attend classes and meetings without having to be in the same room.

Lee thanked several city employees and council members for their help in preparing materials to submit for the reimbursement package.

“Joe (Lee) got $542,000 worth of equipment pre-approved,” Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. “Great job, Chief. It would have just been lost money if you hadn’t stayed on top of it.

“If you see a firefighter in our city, please thank them for what they do,” Picklesimer added. “I’m very proud of our fire and rescue department.”