LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Even with icy, dangerous road conditions, the question isn’t if first responders will go out to 911 calls for help, it’s how.
The Jefferson County Fire Service keeps a few tools in its belt for personnel to use to get around in the snow, including several Polaris ATV’s.
“We would use that if conditions got too terribly bad if the apparatus couldn’t get down a side street or a driveway,” Jordan Yuodis, the spokesperson for the Jefferson County Fire Service said. “Most of the time these apparatuses do very well because of how heavy they are. A lot of the time they just slide off the road because of the conditions.”
The snow isn’t the only time the Polaris comes in handy. Firefighters have also used it when responding to hazardous spill calls, missing person searches and other situations.
Yuodis told WAVE 3 News regardless of the special tools the department uses, snowy and icy road conditions can slow down response times. However, it won’t stop them from going to calls.
“Whether it’s 2 degrees outside or 100 degrees outside, we’re trained to fight fires in those conditions no matter what the weather is,” Yuodis said. “Our personnel are ready to do it each and every day. Winter will be gone soon and we’ll be doing it in 100 degree weather, but that’s what we’re here for.”
Across the river, the Indiana State Police are hitting the snow-covered streets. The department uses its normal patrol cars to get around in the snow, but it increases the number of officers out on the roads during icy conditions.
Sgt. David Henderson, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Jasper Post, says drivers should follow certain safety tips to avoid an accident.
“Always be careful, clean your car off, make sure it’s warm, make sure you have at least a half tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone and a cell phone charger, and possibly some other supplies in case you become stranded,” Henderson said. “If you do become stranded, call 911, stay in your vehicle and we will come find you.”
Henderson asked the public to be patient when waiting for help. ISP response times could be slower due to the road conditions.
“(The snow) definitely changes the game of how we do our job,” Yuodis said. “It makes us a little more alert, but we’re here, we’re ready, and our people are trained and ready to do it.”