WINTER WORRIES OF A FIRE CHIEF
Road conditions, visibility can lead to longer response times
Getting to a fire during a storm can cause anxious moments.
Fire chiefs say they are always prepared for any emergency in any weather but they do a little extra when a major blizzard is in the forecast.
Chief John Chant of the Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department said Monday morning they checked equipment and ensured fire trucks were topped up with fuel.
He said as well there is always a concern of firefighters being able to get to a fire in a major storm so members who have four-wheel drive vehicles are partnered with those who don’t.
“So many of our members have four-wheel drives it takes a lot of the extra pressure off my shoulders knowing the crews can get to the station.”
He said in storms it stands to reason response time will be longer because of road conditions and visibility.
He said the snowplows are also helpful and will plow necessary roads in the event of a fire. “We all work well together.” Chant said the main concern is always public safety. He reminds people that in the event of a power outage to be careful using candles and if possible use flashlights instead.
As well he said people must also be aware of the dangers of combustion engines and carbon monoxide.
“Some people drag barbecues into the house but anything that gives off a flame is also giving off carbon monoxide.”
He said the best thing people can do to stay safe in a storm is to stay home and stay off the roads.
Chief Lenny Barrington of the New Waterford Volunteer Fire Department said they are also always prepared for any emergency. His biggest worry is ensuring firefighters can get to a fire.
“It is very much a concern as in a storm it can be time consuming to get there,” he said.
“To ensure the street is plowed out and as well that our members can get out themselves to get to a fire.”
Barrington said in storm conditions they will send members with four by four vehicles to pick up other firefighters. He said the municipal plow operators work well with the fire department.
“We have constant radio contact with plows and if there is a fire they will go and plow the street out.”
He said knowing conditions could be difficult for a few days they also ensure trucks are fuelled up and that there is extra fuel for generators in the event of a power disruption.