Keeping firefighters warm while battling blazes in the winter

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS – Officials with the St. Louis Fire Department have been busy handling calls for broken and frozen water pipes in homes and businesses. They said when temperatures go down, the number of calls go up.

Battling a house fire in any season for firefighters is never easy, but winter offers up several challenges. First responders always make sure their life-saving equipment works in the cold.

“The elements that we face are pretty unique. The equipment is not designed to keep us isolated from cold temperatures. It’s designed to keep us protected from extreme heat,” said Captain Leon Whitener, St. Louis Fire Department.

Authorities have a system they follow to make sure their equipment works properly and that they well prepared to work in the very cold.

“When you are out here, you are exposed to extreme colds and you keep working. We make sure to rotate through a rehab on the scene, so they are heating up and not staying out in cold weather,” Whitener said.

Firefighters respond to emergencies regardless of the climate.

“No matter the weather—hot or cold—we are here 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, so we have to be prepared,” Whitener said.

Fire officials said have responded to more than 50 cold-related calls this week alone, not including fire calls.

“We see that the pipes are busted in the area that are not heated, so water flow is very important,” Whitener said.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News