INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Jan. 13, 2016) – Bitter cold temperatures along with the snow and ice can take a toll on anyone, but for first responders the elements can really put them to the test.
Firefighters in central Indiana have been busy the past several days and the elements are working against them.
Not only are firefighters wearing an additional 5-10 pounds on top of their normal 75 pounds of gear keep warm, most of the time they’re fighting fires with water-that freezes in low temperatures.
That’s why firefighters rely on each other and on their training to stay safe.
Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Howard Stahl says there are two things that crews work to overcome when the weather get cold.
“One would be equipment malfunction or equipment freezing up. We have to keep nozzles open the water keeps flowing them, because if you shut the nozzle down the hose will freeze up on you. The pumps and the valves on the pumps can freeze up and then the water we throw also creates the icy situation and then slipping and falling is can be devastating, you can tear up your shoulder you can do a lot of things,” says Chief Stahl.
A safety chief is also on the scene making sure firefighters are warm and not taking unnecessary risks such as overexposure or getting fatigued, Stahl added.
Firefighters ask the public that if there is a hydrant in your area, make sure it is cleared of ice and snow so they are easily located and can be accessed quickly.