Emergency responders fight snow and ice following storm

Posted at 9:03 PM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 23:14:50-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Now that the storm is over, local firefighters and EMS are doing their best to work through the snow and ice left on the ground.

"Obviously any kind of adverse conditions can throw a kink in your plans but we stay safe, we monitor our speeds well, we monitor the conditions as they develop," said Capt. Steven Owen with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Capt. Owen says his crew at Fire Station 16 responded to around a dozen calls Saturday, which is about average, but if they had trouble getting into neighborhoods left unplowed, could call on VDOT or the National Guard crews to help.

Next - the focus shifts to plummeting temperatures. Firefighters at Station 16 have to go under every fire engine after they return from a run to check for anything that could potentially lead to problems.

Sunday's First Warning Forecast: Gusty winds, single digit wind chills and slick roadways.

"We make sure that there is no snow and ice accumulation on any of the vital areas of the truck. We do have a pump that moves water and we make sure that that pump stays dry until we do get a fire to prevent any kind of internal freezing," said Owen.

A few miles north, one of ten volunteer EMS teams in Virginia Beach waits for its next call.

Saturday the Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad debuted its brand new, $250,000 dollar ambulance bought using donations and grant dollars. The weather impacting how quickly it can get around.

"The biggest thing is the response times. Obviously with the treacherous conditions and whatnot it takes us quite a bit longer to get to an incident," said Nick Askew, Captain of Operations.

To stay safe, EMTs drive the ambulance slower without its sirens and lights activated. Askew says it'll stay that way until driving conditions improve.