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Firefighters Face Dangers in Cold Weather

fire cold weatherWESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Battling the cold weather is especially dangerous for first responders like firefighters who are on call 24/7, 365 days a year no matter what the weather conditions are like.

On Thursday, Westfield firefighters responded to a house fire on Granville road.

It was snowing. The roads were slippery.

Firefighters waste no time in getting to the fire as quickly as they can.

But the snow-covered roads slow them down.

And the snow poses other potential dangers as well.”We had guys up on the roof of this house, to open up the roof to let the smoke out, and walking on the ladders it gets very slick,” says Westfield Fire Captain Seth Ellis.

On this day firefighters were battling snow, but On Friday, they’re expecting to battle frigid cold temperatures as well.

Firefighters have to be ready to fight fires in any kind of weather.

The bitter cold poses its own challenges,”It makes everything slick, you can kind of see where we’ve got some ice on the ground, from our hose lines, we can have issues with hydrants freezing up on us, which can happen anytime during the winter,” says Captain Ellis.

Captain Ellis also says firefighters have to watch out for hypothermia if they’re outside too long.

And the sudden change from coming from the warmth inside to strenuously working outside in the bitter cold can take a toll as well.

“You have to make sure you’ve got extra clothes, to go back and change because under here we’re kind of sweaty, when you’re inside you’re warm, but when you come out and into this really cold environment it can really stress the body and make it tough on us, get people tired faster,” says Captain Ellis.

The dangers, and the chance of injury are magnified when firefighters face the elements like bitter cold and snow.



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