Hampton Roads first responders preparing for expected snow later this week

Virginia Beach Fire Department truck
Posted at 8:30 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 22:13:02-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - First responders in Hampton Roads are working around the clock to make sure they're ready to keep you and your family safe for the upcoming winter weather.

“We’re 100% ready to go,” Virginia Beach Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Lorna Trent told News 3.

Trent said VBFD will be ready for any call with trucks full of fuel, ice melt and extra firefighters starting Thursday night and throughout the weekend.

“We’ll have additional, smaller vehicles staffed so that we can handle [an] increased call volume,” she said. “If there is an emergency, we will be coming out to you. We may be able a little bit slower than normal, obviously.

“Most of our trucks will have three-person staffing; we’ll up-staff to four people per truck,” Trent added. “That extra person makes a huge difference in time for when we look at the amount of time it takes when we get lines pulled, water on the fire, fire out, rescue situations.”

Meanwhile, Chesapeake Police will be staging officers at fire and police stations throughout the city, hoping to drive down delays on calls.

CPD Chief Kelvin Wright said they're also stocked with all-wheel drive and high-elevated vehicles ready for the snow.

“Certainly, we want our people to be cautious, and we want citizens to be safe,” Wright told News 3.

Chief Wright's message to folks is to stay off the roads once the snow hits the ground.

“Don’t be going out and enjoying the snow, because all you’re going to do is probably get involved in an accident, and that takes up police resources that can’t be devoted to do other things that take place at that same time,” Wright said. “A lot of our time is tied up with drivers who find themselves either snowbound or in accidents. A lot of times, if the traffic is very bad, it makes it very difficult for us to get to the scenes where the accidents with injuries are.”

For Trent, she said while COVID has created staffing concerns, they will be ready and staffed for anything Mother Nature brings.

Related: List of Hampton Roads city preparations for winter weather this week

“We’ve got great personnel, and they know that during these critical times where we have a need and are in shortages, they will step up and they will work overtime so that we can maintain that service,” Trent said.

Trent also told News 3 because the City of Virginia Beach does not plow residential neighborhood streets, fire crews are asking folks to please make sure their porches, driveways and walkways around their home are cleared so first responders can get to them if needed.

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