MOUNT VERNON — Cold, snow and ice did little to hamper firefighters who were called out to a blaze on Oak Street, Friday night.
Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chris Menapace said the first thing that is affected by snowy and icy road conditions is response time.
“The roads were not extremely bad,” he said. “We have automatic chains that come down and the chains spin underneath our trucks to give us extra traction in inclement weather. These are pretty hardy vehicles. Typically, snow and ice does mean a slightly longer response time.”
Snow and ice also mean footing is affected.
“You move a little more cautiously when you are walking around the fire ground,” said Menapace. “The biggest adversary that we have to try to overcome is the ice. Once we spray the water and it runs out of the structure, the general area in and around the fire ground is a sheet of ice. Now we are doing everything we normally do walking on ice. Initially it’s no big deal, but after you’ve been there for an hour and during overhaul and the investigative phase, you have to be extremely careful in and around the fire ground because of the ice build-up.”
The presence of dogs on the property was another factor with which the firefighters had to cope, but Menapace said they were really no trouble at all.