KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City firefighter who was suspended Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular manslaughter says he will do whatever it takes to keep his job.
FOX4 is also learning more about the technology that Dominic Biscari’s lawyer says could have helped prevent the crash.
The December 2021 crash claimed the lives of three people when Biscari – headed for a fire with lights and sirens – drove a fire truck 16 miles over the speed limit through a red light hitting an SUV at the intersection between Westport and Broadway and then a pedestrian.
Inserting a statement from Alford into a plea deal Tuesday to avoid jail time, Biscari maintained his innocence even as prosecutors argued he did not have due regard for the safety of others before entering the intersection.
Biscari’s attorney, Kevin Regan, pointed out that Kansas City’s fire trucks are equipped with technology that could have prevented the situation, but said the city never installed the necessary equipment on its side.
It’s called Opticom, and the manufacturer, Global Traffic Technologies, says it’s now in use in 48 of America’s 50 largest cities. A fire chief in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenfield explained how it works in 2021 to WTTV.
“When that fire truck, ambulance, police car, or whatever comes within 3,000 feet of that signal, it’s going to initiate that process of changing that signal to green so the traffic is gone before we get there,” Chief Brian said. lott. “Turns the light green for the direction you’re going and stops cross traffic.”
Overland Park tells FOX4 the technology has been used in the Kansas City suburb since before 2000. It says transponders cost about $1500 for each vehicle while receivers are priced at $10,000 for each crossing.
The company says its emergency vehicle avoidance technology is in place at more than 90,000 intersections and reduces crashes by up to 70 percent and response times by up to 25 percent.
FOX4 contacted the Kansas City Fire Department who referred us to the city for all questions why the discovery in the Biscari case found those transponders are installed in KCFD trucks but presumably not at city intersections or at least in Westport and Broadway.
FOX4 has called and emailed a city spokesperson multiple times over the past two days about the technology, but has not heard back.
Regarding that firefighter’s suspension without pay and the KCFD’s announcement that they will work to fire him, Biscari’s attorney said the following:
“Dominic will do whatever it takes to keep his position in the fire department. His team is ready to fight vigorously to help him keep what the City has wrongfully taken from him. We are disappointed with Council’s arbitrary decision and believe it will be overturned.”