Wintry weather slows first responders

Wintry weather slows first responders

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Though some Arkansas highways were in better condition Thursday night, many side roads and some main roads in Jonesboro were still in poor shape.

Everything from snow to ice to black ice covered the roads.

For emergency responders, it meant response time was a bit slower on Thursday.

"If we can't get there, we can't help," Jonesboro Fire Battalion Chief Marty Hamrick said. "The snow on the side roads especially is making it very hard for us to get there quickly."

In some instances, the winter weather made responding nearly impossible.

"We've had, matter of fact, a couple of them get stuck," Hamrick said about their fire engines. "One had to have a wrecker to give it a tug to get out. The rest of them were able to shovel and use some kitty litter and get it out themselves."

Hamrick said though some engines have chains to help move them along, it's still slow going.

"If you get in a wreck, out doing something foolish, being out, playing, whatever it is, and we have to get out, it's gonna take us a little bit to get there," Hamrick said.

According to Jonesboro E911 Dispatch, the fire department was dispatched 18 times in the 24 hours since the storm hit.

Hamrick said two of those calls were for house fires.

All of Jonesboro's emergency responders were busy Wednesday night into Thursday though.

Over 1,000 calls were processed at Jonesboro E-911 Dispatch. In total, police responded to more than 160 calls in 24 hours.

Reports came in for everything from car accidents to welfare checks. Their most prevalent calls involved motorists who were stranded, stuck or in the ditch.

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