PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Firefighters are not only battling blazes this week, but also frigid temperatures and high winds.
Friday afternoon, local fire firefighters put out a blaze at DJ’s Tire and Auto in Bartonville.
Assistant Chief of the Bartonville Fire Department Kevin Cheatham said the conditions do make a difference.
“We’ve got to be careful driving to the scenes and then once we get the water pumping out of the truck, we’ve got to keep it flowing so that the lines don’t freeze up,” Cheatham said.
When firefighters arrive at a scene they’re also taking extra precautions to stay out of harm’s way.
“Once they get water spraying, the ground freezes, you’ve got to be real careful on the slipping and sliding and falling and getting hurt, or ladders falling off the side of the building or something like that,” Cheatham said.
During frosty weather, firefighters are advised to bundle up. At the Peoria Fire Department, Assistant Fire Chief Rick Morgan said quickly rotating staff becomes very important as well.
“Because as you go inside of a hot building and fight a fire, no matter what time of the year it is, when they can come outside they can get cold very, very quickly,” Morgan said.
The Peoria Fire Department uses its trucks to keep firefighters warm but they will call in additional resources if needed.
“We will call other agencies like the bus company here to have them come in and we’ll use city buses as warming centers as well to try to warm our men and women up as they’re fighting fires or dealing with various incidents,” Morgan said.
Morgan said the Peoria Fire department did have a few issues with pipes that were frozen on their equipment this week, but mechanics were able to fix the issues.