Firefighters Battle Bitter Cold
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
Fighting fires in the dead of winter is not easy, and it's more than just staying warm. The elements are working against them.
"It's very, very chilly out there right now. We just got back from a medical call actually. You definitely notice it when you get outside," Grand Chute firefighter Chad Martin said.
Martin gets ready for his next battle--the bitter cold.
"We try to stay warm as much as we can, but you can definitely feel it out there today," Martin said.
Martin takes a bag with him on every call to help him stay warm. In the bag he carries extra gloves and an extra stocking cap, as well as water and energy bars. Firefighters refer to it as a "Diddy Bag".
Fire Prevention Specialist Jesse Pickett tells us firefighters also rotate on the scene.
"If need be we can call in a valley transit bus to have them heat a large area for us, keep the bus warm so our guys can sit in there and warm up a little bit," Pickett said.
And there's other challenges.
"One thing we face is if we're at a structure fire, we're using water to put out the fire creating lots of ice," Pickett said.
That's why they carry salt on every fire truck. They also make sure the trucks stay warm, so the water in the pipes doesn't freeze.
"We take it very seriously," Martin said. "We do our job, try not to let the elements get to us at all, and focus on the incident itself."
Pickett tells us they've had no reports so far of firefighters getting frostbite or any other kind injury from the frigid weather.