First Responders working in the frigid temps and inclement weather

While many of us stay inside during the cold, first responders have to go out to protect the public
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 4:57 PM CST
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HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) - While many people are staying inside during the cold and inclement weather, first responders are still working to protect the public. Some local departments discussed what it’s really like to work in that kind of weather.

As you get out this weekend, think of the first responders who have to fight fires and go to accidents. Departments are out there watching for your safety no matter the weather. Mike Hertz, the City of Carbondale Fire Chief, asks people to be patient with firefighters, who are also are affected by the cold weather

“It’s not like our job slows down at all, it actually speeds up so just be patient,” Hertz said.

Hertz says the cold temperatures slow their response time.

“Takes twice as long to get there because we’re taking our time on these icy roads. When we get there, we’re so bulked up with extra clothing and things to stay warm it just takes us twice as long to move around the fire scene,” Hertz said.

He says they have been busy in the winter weather. The department responded to 12 calls since Thursday.

The Jeff Diederich, the Sheriff at Williamson County says patience is important in these kind of situations.

“First thing is safety, both for the public and for our deputies that are responding to calls. You’re going to see a slowed response and to offset that be able to accommodate the needs of the public, we have more than doubled the number of deputies that are on duty during inclement weather,” Diederich said.

Diederich says his department responded to multiple fender benders, vehicles sliding off the roadway and more.

“If you’re stranded in a vehicle, vehicle breaks down, if you have a minor accident, you’re on the side of the road, please stay in your vehicle. Be sure to flag somebody down, ideally you’ll have a cell phone make that call, call us we will get a deputy in route right away,” Diederich added.

Both departments say no matter what the temperature or weather is they will still be servants to the public.

“Try not to be part of the cause, stay in and don’t get out on the roads and cause any extra work for us,” Hertz said.

Williamson County Sheriff Department also wants to remind people of Scott’s Law. If you see an emergency vehicle with its lights on, on the side of the road, slow down and move over.