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.