Even with all that snow on the ground, paramedics and first firefighters still have to be able to navigate through a crisis, utilizing a stretcher and whatever other equipment they may need to help people. And as you can imagine, the weather doesn’t make the job any easier.
Dearborn Heights Fire Marshall Max Mitts says the show must go on through the storm.
“You can’t plan for emergencies,” said Mitts. “We can’t shut down. We work 24/7. 18 inches of snow, and we’ve got to get through it. If we do get hit with a lot of calls coming in at the same time, we’re going to be stretched thin.”
Most of the ground is expected to be covered with over a foot of snow, which will make an already tough job even harder; But many fire crews will have all hands on deck.
“A lot of time, we send two guys out on a rescue,” Mitts said. “We will call in an extra guy if need be. If the snow emergency gets that bad, we will send a fourth guy in a pickup that can at least shovel the driveway so that we can get the stretcher out.”
Despite what you think, you can make their jobs easier from your own home.
“Stairs are huge,” Mitts said. “Slip, and falls happen when you’re carrying a person out of a house. If you seen an ambulance in your neighbor’s driveway and you’re capable of doing it, come out and shovel a path for us. We don’t need much.”
The same applies to fire hydrants. Small moves that will help in a big way.
“There are 18 inches of snow, and then a plow truck comes through. Our fire hydrants only sit about two feet off the ground, so they can be covered,” Mitts said. “If you have a hydrant in your front yard, just shovel either side of it or just dust off the top of it so we can find it.”
If possible, try to shovel for your elderly neighbors too. After all, shoveling is an activity that can bring on a heart attack for seniors.