LRFD taking extra precautions for firefighters, public during week of frigid temperatures

While temperatures are in the teens, the Little Rock Fire Department is taking extra precautions for themselves and the public. (Photo: KATV)

As the Little Rock Fire Department responds to calls in below-freezing temperatures, firefighters now take additional precautions.

"We try to keep extra gloves and hoods and stuff in the apparatus, so they can at least change those out and at least keep their fingers and toes warm," said Captain Jason Weaver, public information officer with the Little Rock Police Department.

While working, their body temperature can be put in limbo.

"We have to watch our firefighters, because they'll go inside the structure and get really hot and come out and get cold,” said Weaver. “And also they're wet, so the chiefs will watch the guys and try to have companies come in and relieve them."

Crews also have to protect equipment from becoming stuck or frozen.

Fire trucks carry 750 gallons of water in a tank, but it's the water in the pump they worry about.

"We have to make sure the engineer watches our apparatus, because we do carry water in the apparatus, and it will freeze inside the pumps,” said Weaver. “And then we'll be ineffective with our firefighting."

Last week, the City of Little Rock stocked fire stations with blankets to give out.

"If we're on scene of a rescue or after a fire and the victims or the patients need blankets, we'll go ahead and pass them out," said Weaver.

Firefighters can also hand the blankets out to anyone they may see on the street in need.

Captain Weaver says another concern comes up when they respond to a structure fire.

Crews have to worry about the weight of the water, because it can turn in to ice, accumulate on the structure, then possibly cause it to collapse.

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