HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — First responders in the Rocket City say they’ve been incredibly busy since last Friday.
From Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Dec. 26, Huntsville Fire & Rescue received a total of 493 calls. These calls included wrecks, fires, medical calls, alarms, calls for service, and more.
Officials say Monday’s winter weather was unexpected, creating hazardous conditions not only for the community but for first responders as well.
Huntsville Bureau of Fire Prevention Assistant Fire Marshal Trent Bennett said the conditions affect first responders but also cause major headaches for the citizens they serve.
“Those are conditions that not only do we have to deal with, but the citizens have to deal with it as well,” Bennett said. “Sometimes, we have to ask the citizens to be patient with us because we’re doing the best, we can with what we have.”
He said that oftentimes first responders need that same patience.
“The only thing that we can do is to just keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Bennett said. “We try to stay ahead of the game and always try to stay on track. We’re always looking towards the future to see what we can do to prepare, but we’re always training to make sure that we’re always ready for whatever circumstance may arise.”
As the temperature starts to rise and some things start to thaw out, Bennett anticipates that could bring more sprinkler pipes being busted. He says crews may have to respond more over the next day or so.
On top of the challenges mentioned by Bennett, a city of Huntsville spokesperson said the fire department also had to deal with the same road conditions as other drivers.
Huntsville Communications Director Kelly Schrimsher said engine 4 from the Monte Sano Mountain fire station sustained major damage during an accident Monday. She said no fire personnel were injured in the accident and Huntsville Fire & Rescue has put a new engine in the station so emergency response will not be interrupted.
Schrimsher said two smaller trucks also received minimal damage and are still in service