Emergency crews face challenges in winter weather - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Emergency crews face challenges in winter weather

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It's business as usual at fire stations across Toledo.

That's because the emergency runs don't stop when the weather gets ugly.

"We have to use a lot of caution, especially in neighborhoods," Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld, Toledo Fire Department said.

The snow and bone chilling cold have been a challenge the last few days.

TFD vehicles got stuck in drifts and imagine trying to drive a 35,000 pound fire truck through the snow.

"Some of the old neighborhoods have narrow streets to begin with and then when you factor in additional snow and cars that may be stuck, it provides challenges that only the winter can bring," Lt. Hertzfeld told 13abc.

He also says anytime there are weather extremes, there is an increase in medical calls.

So far, 2014 has been busy.

"The first six days were over 1,000 incidents which is well above our average," he said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is also experiencing similar issues.

Calls increase and response times suffer.

"It's stressful because you never have enough people," Lt. William Bowers, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.  "My people are two, three crashes deep, literally for two days straight."

Bowers says the most common emergency the last couple of days were crashes and stranded or stuck motorists.

"They're constantly running from accident to accident and it's tiring on the troopers, it's tiring on the supervisors trying to manage it, and it's not easy on the patrol cars either," he said.

Even though working in this weather is difficult it's part of the job.

"We've got a long way to go," he said.

Bowers says there are ways motorists can help.  One big one is to slow down when the snow starts to fall.

As for the fire department the best way to help is to make sure your sidewalks and paths are clear, and also uncover buried fire hydrants.

 

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