Emergency Workers Brave Icy Conditions

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- "Weather like this effects us just like it does anybody else trying to get to work," said Larry Tosh.

For emergency workers getting to an emergency can take longer.    

"It's hard enough in ordinary traffic to get these big rigs through traffic and on a day like today we have to take even more time to get there because of road conditions," said Tosh.

"We drive much slower and we are twice as cautious than we normally would be.  We're always cautious but even more so on ice," said Medic One Director of Operations Tim Brickell.

"Bigger trucks have a lot more weight so we slide a lot easier.  It's just hard to control these big rigs just like it is a normal car," said Tosh.

An upside for the Jonesboro Fire Department is a special addition to their fire trucks.  Division chief of Training Larry Tosh said snow chains help them get where they need to be when the roads are covered with ice.

"Our new apparatuses have automatic chains.  They can push a button on the inside and the chains will engage," said Tosh.

The chains do help them get there, but it's still not as fast as it would be if the roads were dry.

"Most of the time they understand.  Most of the time they're just glad to see us, no matter if it's five minutes if its ten minutes, they're glad when we get there because we're there to help," said Tosh.

Medic One doesn't use chains but do use all weather tires.  They say the 16,000 to 18,000 pounds of the ambulance also helps keep them on the road.  Tim Brickwell said during bad weather they aren't as busy because there aren't as many people on the roads.

While it is hard to drive and work in the bad weather, on days like we are seeing across Region 8, they say everyone comes to work.

"It's just tough on them the wetness, the cold, if we didn't have to be outside we wouldn't but we don't have that option when we're called we go," said Tosh.