JOPLIN, Mo. — Although fighting fires is challenging no matter the weather conditions, below freezing temperatures can bring on added challenges.
When fighting a fire it’s expecting the unexpected that is important. But before Redings Mill Fire Department crew members can even do that they need to get to the fire.
Chris Taylor – Redings Mill Fire Department, Lieutenant, said, “One of the concerns is getting to the scene. You know with the road conditions and stuff.”
Those road conditions also cause for a slower commute.
“We go way below the speed limit. Depending on, usually we don’t run emergency because with hazards like this, you know people try to pull over. You know they could slide off into a ditch and stuff, so we try and limit the emergency part.”
Once overcoming road conditions it’s preparing for unfortunate events that fire fighters have to deal with.
“When you’re flowing water in negative 25 degree wind chill, it’s gonna freeze up pretty quick, so those are a lot of concerns and challenges we have to deal with.”
Lucky enough, there’s always a backup plan.
“We have other apparatus on scene, so if need be we can switch to another engine.”
While just getting to the fire, and hoping the pipes don’t freeze is one of their first concerns, they also need to have more fire fighters on duty.
“Trying to keep the fire fighters warm, and you know switching them out as often as we can, putting them in vehicles that are warm, get them warmed up,”