Firefighters face icy conditions with freezing temperatures

Firefighters face icy conditions with freezing temperatures

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - With freezing temperatures, it is a challenge to go outside at all, but for emergency crews those challenges take on a whole new meaning.

Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Rick Ennis said every few years there's a major fire, the problem, though, the more water you need, the more ice that's created.

He said everything from the pumps for the water to the breathing apparatuses the workers use are all complicated because of cold temperatures.

"Not only just fires, but taking care of patients on medical calls, getting them in and out of the house, going on motor vehicle collisions and people that are trapped in cars, I mean everything we do is magnified and again made more challenging in these types of weather conditions," he said.

Ennis said his crew is prepared with extra layers, and they bring out space heaters to keep the trucks and firefighters warm.

However, cold temperatures can mean a fire takes longer to put out.

"It usually causes some more challenges for us and can sometimes prolong our operations," Ennis said.

He said that's why they're quick to call people in whether it be off duty fire fighters or even mutual aid companies if needed.

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department said to take extra precautions when trying to stay warm:

  • Like keeping space heaters away from things that can catch fire,
  • turning off your stove,
  • making sure any other heating devices are in good working order.

Ennis said in a lot of cases it can be best to just bundle up.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.