Treacherous roads slow down first responders

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The treacherous road conditions are causing problems for emergency personnel.

First responders say they have no choice but to keep working because people's lives depend on it.

The Colerain Fire Department says they respond to numerous calls a day, every day. Driving when roads are full of snow and ice changes their mindset.

"This really does feel like the worst winter, I'm going to go ahead and say it," says Colerain firefighter Jim Bowman. "We have to be in a mode where we go a little slower. We take care of people on the road, we take care of ourselves and we get there."

Bowman says even the trucks aren't the best to drive during the winter.

"They work just like everyone else's car. They're not magic, it's going to take us awhile," says Bowman.

Bowman says once they get to the residence, often times their job is even tougher because they don't have a clear path to carry the patient.

"The crew will go inside and start taking care of the person and one or two of us will stay on the outside and shovel us a path. All of that takes a little longer and that is just part of our job right now," adds Bowman.

Sometimes firefighters will even call the public works department to help them clear a road that they think may be problematic.

Bowman says they typically receive more fire and medical runs during the winter than warmer months. When they have that extra hand to clean up the mess, it makes all the difference.

"Help them shovel out just a little bit. If we can get in and out quickly in a situation where someone is having a heart attack, seconds count and that will help us out," Bowman.

The Colerain Fire Department says if you see a fire hydrant that's covered in snow, help dig it out of the snow.

Crews say the extra seconds they have to get to it during a structure fire make a big difference.

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