Firefighters Adapting To Frigid Temperatures


"Life safety is always top priority. The first thing is to always make sure the house has been evacuated completely." -Bowling Green Fire Assistant Chief, Brian O'Callaghan

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Temperature is on the mind of firefighters at nearly all times.

"I've been here ten years. I can't remember a time like this." said Bowling Green Fire Captain, Doug Morris.

During the last few days it's been the cold causing firefighters to adapt, rather than the scorching temperatures of the fires. Tuesday night a fire in Plano was thankfully contained to the living room of a home, but excess water from hydrants and hoses froze almost instantly, leaving slick surfaces for responders.

In Bowling Green, officials dealt with similar conditions when water turned an entire driveway into what looked like a skating rink. Firefighters said the rare conditions have them adapting more and more.

"We do some different things with our water. We don't keep them charged in our pumps. That way they won't freeze up on the way to the scene. We wait until we get there before we actually discharge water into the pumps." added Morris.

Despite the delay in charging the pumps, some firefighters had to deal with water in their hoses freezing, rendering them useless.

The causes of the recent fires are still under investigation but officials commented the cold temperatures create a more likely scenario for families to use heating aids.

"Anybody using any type of heater needs to make sure they have at least three feet of clearance. That goes for any type of heater including a wall heater, floor heater, or a portable heater." said Bowling Green Fire Assistant Chief, Brian O'Callaghan.

Though the conditions may have changed aspects of fighting fires, it hasn't changed what's important when arriving on the scene.

"Life safety is always top priority. The first thing is to always make sure the house has been evacuated completely." added O'Callaghan.

Fire officials add the cold weather shouldn't deter you from leaving your home when you suspect a fire in your home. They said getting to a warm, safe place like a car or neighbor's house is the best move.

Some of the good news that comes out of the cold weather is that fire fighters say since most homes are closed up for warmth, it's harder for fires to spread.


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