First responders making calls more slowly due to weather
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WEST MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — You’ve heard the warnings, don’t get out and drive if you don’t have to. First responders don’t have that option and the icy conditions are making their already dangerous jobs even more treacherous. From tankers to pumpers the Madison County Fire Department has plenty of equipment but not all of it works well in the snow and ice. That’s why they’re using four wheel drive brush trucks to get the first team of firefighters to scenes faster. “If we don’t arrive safely we can’t do anyone any good,” Madison County Fire Marshal Don Friddle First responders tackling the snow and ice to keep the public safe “The weather tends to slow our response time down,” Friddle said. “But it really hasn’t affected our operations any, we continue to make our calls.” And with more calls coming in because of the weather, residents say they’ll be patient. “With ice, it’s hard to get it off the roads and it’s hard to even drive on ice,” resident Crystal Printy said. “So I think they’re response time was good given the circumstances.” As an all volunteer department, Madison County Fire Officials say a lot of preparation goes into staffing stations during winter weather. “They’ll get up at all hours of the night to make sure their vehicles are cleared of snow and ice,” Friddle said. “Making sure they’re ready to go in the event they do get a call.” Fire fighters say they’ve even collaborated with other county agencies to stage more equipment at some of their stations. “Housing an ambulance there, even sheriff’s deputies along with some of our fire crew,” Friddle said. “That way we’re we can get out a little quicker.” With winter far from over and more storms on the way the department says firefighters will be ready to answer the call no matter what. “As bad as it is outside, I’d say we’ve been pretty lucky,” Friddle said. The Madison County Fire Department has more than 180 volunteers who man 16 stations.