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Local Fire Crews Cope with Winter Weather

Old man winter hasn't backed down this season and for many local fire departments, these winter weather conditions can pose a few challenges when they're trying fight fires and handle emergency calls.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Old man winter hasn't backed down this season and for many local fire departments, these winter weather conditions can pose a few challenges when they're trying fight fires and handle emergency calls.

"It's seems like it's dragging on for quite some time. We'll be happy when spring gets here definitely," said Captain Russell Daiello, Hagerstown Fire Department.

The winter weather poses several challenges for fire crews like slower response times 

"We do have the operators chain up at certain times depending on how deep the snow gets and they do generally operate a little slower getting to the call for safety reasons and for those reasons we up staff so we do have more guys to rotate given the weather," said Captain Daiello.

But fire officials say safety is always their main concern. 

"Getting our crew there safely, getting our apparatus there safely. Some of the snow covered roads you know might reduce our response times if we're trying to get there in an emergency . Once you get there obviously you don't want our personnel to slip and fall and injure anybody," said Daniel Garand, fire house operator for engine 1.

And after any winter storm, fire crews ask residents to adopt a fire hydrant and clean at least a three foot radius around it. Doing that can help fire crews do their job in case of an emergency.

"We really don't have the manpower to go around and clean the fire hydrants. Although we clean the ones around our own fire station but we do ask the citizens if they live close to one , if they know where one is that nobody hasn't cleaned it, if they would clean it up so we could get to it if there was an emergency, it would really help us out," said Garand.

To help prevent fires officials say always check your heat sources.

"Well, any alternate heating sources that you have just be careful they don't get too close to anything flammable, drapes. Make sure the kids aren't putting anything on top of them that type of stuff. Make sure you check them before you leave for the evening or turn them off completely," said Garand.

Fire officials also remind residents to make sure you have working smoke detectors on every leave of your home and change the batteries when you change your clocks for the time change.

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