MCFRS News Release

Responding to Emergencies can be Difficult in Snowy Weather

Call Volume Dramatically Increased

Extinguishing cold weather fires presents unique challenges to firefighters and emergency medical responders. Not only is fire fighting a physically demanding profession, fighting fires and responding to medical emergencies in cold and snowy weather can be even more challenging for many reasons.

Ice, snow and extremely cold temperatures can impede the response to the fire or other emergency. Slippery roads and hazardous conditions affect emergency apparatus in the same manner as any other vehicle.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2007 units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service were kept busy by the area's first winter snow event. For the four (4) hour period from around 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Emergency Communications Center (ECC) handled about 150 calls for service. Between 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon another fifty or so calls were handled. About 75% of the calls involved car wrecks and personal injury collisions. This is about 5 times the normal call volume for this time of day and day of week. (In a 24-hour period the average total call volume for all incidents is between 375-400 emergency calls). About 50% of the firefighters and emergency medical responders were busy at one time or another during this time.