The City of Fort Smith wants to notify all residents to be aware of scams and individuals posing as reputable and qualified contractors. The recent hail storm disaster may unfortunately bring disreputable persons to the area.
Fort Smith residents should use the following guidelines before hiring a contractor:
• Be cautious of anyone asking for money before doing any work.
• Do not pay for any work that is not done or is not finished.
• Ask for references and CALL the references. Ask about quality of work, similarity of the work and the contractor’s willingness to correct deficiencies in the work.
• Be sure the contractor has a business license with the City of Fort Smith.
• Plumbers, electricians and heating/air conditioning contractors must have an additional license from the State of Arkansas.
• Building permits are required on all work to buildings. This includes roof repairs, siding and interior work. Do not let the contractor start working without a building permit and see that he gets all the required inspections from the City Building Department. Call the City Building Department if you have any questions about permits or inspections.
• Always try to get a specific written agreement that specifies the work and how much money will be paid for the work and when the payments will be due.
• The Fort Smith Police Department advises citizens to always be cautious and protect valuables. Keep doors locked and garage doors closed if not present during repairs. Be cautious and attentive to workers asking for access into your home.
• Please call the City offices if you have any questions.
The numbers to call are:
784-2254 City Collections Department
784-2206 City Building (Code Enforcement) Department
709-5141 Fort Smith Police Department
Wally Bailey, Director of Development Services
Tips for Yielding to Emergency Vehicles
The Fort Smith Fire Department cautions motorists on how to best help emergency vehicles navigate traffic.
As days grow longer and temperatures get higher, more of us will be enjoying outdoor activities. Unfortunately, spring and summer can mean more emergency calls for our first responders.
The Fort Smith Fire Department reminds us all to “do what’s right and yield to the right.“
Captain Carey “Hootie“ St. Cyr says, “We want motorists to keep their ears alert for the wail or yelp of sirens, and an eye in their rear view mirrors for flashing emergency lights. We also want drivers to know exactly what to do, so we’ve prepared some tips that will hopefully be helpful to all of us.“
These tips apply to emergency vehicles approaching from any direction when lights are flashing, sirens are sounding, or horns are honking.
- Pull to the right edge of the road, as much as safely permissible.
- If traffic impedes a motorist from pulling to the right edge of the road, pull as far right as safely possible.
- Follow any directions given from an emergency vehicle’s loudspeaker.
- Do NOT stop abruptly. Use signals, when possible, to communicate your next move.
- Do not ever block an intersection. Either stop short of an intersection if an emergency vehicle is traveling across an intersection as you approach, or proceed carefully through the intersection before pulling to the right if the vehicle is behind you.
- Sit still until ALL emergency vehicles in your line of sight or range of hearing have passed.
Sgt. Daniel Grubbs, Public Affairs Officer for the Fort Smith Police Department says, “Emergency response is a very stressful situation for an officer and first responders. The Fort Smith Police Department’s primary concern in emergency driving situations is the protection of the lives and safety of all citizens and officers. By policy, officers utilizing emergency lights and siren are in direct response to a life-threatening situation, a violent crime in progress, or an officer in distress.“
St. Cyr further explains that emergency vehicles can legally pass through intersections on a red light after they’ve slowed or stopped to make sure lanes are clear. “Emergency vehicles use different techniques to navigate blocked intersection. Don’t ever assume you know which way the vehicle is headed. It’s important to stop safely as soon as possible to give the driver time to assess the situation. Get out of the way if you can.“
“When emergency crews are running toward a citizen in need, we’re trained to get there as quickly as possible, as safely as possible. Seconds matter in situations like this. We know citizens want to help us help others. These tips will go a long way toward keeping all of us safe.“