For Rescuers in Snow, Getting There is Half the Battle | MassCops

For Rescuers in Snow, Getting There is Half the Battle

Discussion in 'Fire, EMS & Medical' started by rocksy1826, Feb 16, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rocksy1826

    rocksy1826 MassCops Member

    For Rescuers in Snow, Getting There is Half the Battle

    Greg Cimaand Sharon K.
    The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)

    Danvers firefighters were called on Tuesday to a stranded car on Old Peoria Road a couple of miles outside of town.

    Most of them never made it there.

    The ambulance and fire truck bogged down in the snow, and about a dozen firefighters had to dig them out.

    An emergency medical technician on a snowmobile went to the car, and found no one was injured.

    "It's stupid," Danvers fire Chief Greg Lemons said. "Nobody should be out when it's this bad."

    Authorities tell people to stay off the roads when a blizzard strikes, but emergency workers don't have that luxury.

    The same snow and wind that sends drivers into ditches also makes it hard for police cars and fire trucks to get there.

    McLean County sheriff's deputies stayed close to the city except during emergency calls Tuesday evening because the county pulled snowplows from the roads.

    "If there's a crime in progress, we'll respond," said Sgt. Mike Kline. "And hopefully we'll make it there."

    The McLean County sheriff's office has a four-wheel drive vehicle, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's McLean County office has offered use of other four-wheel drive vehicles, Kline said. But deputies' Chevrolet Impalas aren't different from civilian models and deputies would just become stuck if they went on regular patrols.

    Fire departments had extra help on ambulance runs to clear the way and bring patients to hospitals.

    In Danvers, for example, four residents and township snowplows stood on call at the fire station with an EMT Tuesday evening in case of an emergency.

    Even if there's a fire call, "you have to wait for a snowplow," said Fred Zacher, head of the DeWitt County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.

    Bloomington Fire Chief Keith Ranney said low amounts of traffic on city streets helped reduce problems for his and other city departments.
    "What we're actually finding is that the people are staying home, and that's helping us a bunch," Ranney said.

    "I know it's helping the public service, the police department out a bunch as well."

    While McLean County pulled plows off the road about 4 p.m., night crew members would clear the way for emergency vehicles and could try to keep Towanda Barnes Road and Old Route 150 open, said Eric Schmitt, assistant county engineer.

    Ranney said his firefighters would respond similarly to fire calls as on a normal day, but they could have difficulty finding fire hydrants buried under snow. And he said fire engines or trucks would be sent with some ambulances to make sure there is enough help clearing snow for the EMTs and patients.

    Normal Fire Chief Jim Watson said more people would have to be sent more quickly on fire calls because of the snow. And Normal's ambulances could also be escorted by fire engines, he said.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page