Firefighters use special snow tools in Grand Chute

Published 01/12 2012 03:56PM

Updated 01/12 2012 06:55PM

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) - The Grand Chute Fire Department was busy responding to calls during the winter storm.


Snow adds time to each emergency call the firefighters respond to.


"We don't get the option of having snow days" says Jesse Pickett, Grand Chute's Fire Prevention Specialist.


Firefighters in Grand Chute work 24 hour shifts.


Pickett explains "we respond to medical calls, fire calls, accident clean up. Even if there are not injuries we'll get called out to clean up any fluids that are on the roadway".


Firefighters add extra gear to their trucks when snow is on the way including blankets and heating packs.


"Also we carry some salt" says Grand Chute Fire Lt. Brad Paltzer. "Just in a simple little jug. That way if we go on a medical or fire call and the water is running out of the truck we can sprinkle sidewalks. Basically it is to protect our safety or a patient's safety on a cot".


The fire truck itself is specially equipped to handle snowy roads.


"We have chains on the trucks" says Pickett. "When the driver is driving he can hit a button and chains will come underneath the truck and spin under the tires to help get a little more traction".


When the crew returns from a call they still have plenty of work to do.


"When the trucks come back with the new salt additives and the salt on the road were seeing a lot of rust on the undersides of the trucks" says Lt. Paltzer.


A quick spray down helps preserve lifesaving equipment including special plumbing underneath the fire engine.


"It's a $400,000 dollar truck" says Lt. Paltzer. "We want to keep it looking new a long as possible".


In an emergency seconds count for firefighters. They ask residents to clear snow from fire hydrants.


They also advise drivers to clear all their car windows. Many times during a snow storm people fail to pull over for emergency vehicles because they simply can not see them through snow covered windows.




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