Road con­di­tions, vis­i­bil­ity can lead to longer re­sponse times

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE smont­gomery@cb­

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.



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