EMS, fire departments battle bitter cold to do their jobs

EMS, fire departments battle bitter cold to do their jobs

While many of us complain about working in the bitter cold, imagine fighting a fire or diving an ambulance in this weather.

St. Andrews firefighters had to battle a blaze on Hoss Road late last night .Battalion

Chief Marques Bush says his firefighters train to fight fires in very low temperatures.

But Bush says there may still be some issues.

"Just simply getting rolling, it gets really cold," Bush says. "Typically in the south we don't put a lot of block heaters on our engines so the truck's kind of cold getting out of the stall."

Charleston County EMS says the extreme cold can damage medicine inside ambulances.

District Chief Carl Fehr says during bitter cold it is standard procedure to place medications in the back of the ambulance at the proper temperature.

"We don't want to give cold fluids or medicines to the patient because that could make them hypothermic as well, so we try to keep our fluids and everything in the back of the truck," Fehr says.

Fehr says so far there have been no problems keeping ambulances on the road.

"Most of our vehicles are on the road though so much of the time. They don't get shut down, so it's not usually an issue for us."

Both the fire department and EMS say the public can make their jobs easier by staying out of the cold and heating their homes properly.

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