AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Fire Department is keeping busy after the first snow of 2017.
On average, Amarillo firefighters will respond to about 65 calls in one 24 hour shift, but firefighters have already seen that number rise about 30 percent after the snow that fell Dec. 5.
Amarillo Fire Department's Fire Station 6 shared advice and how they prepare for snowy conditions.
"We alter a few things in the fire engine because we do carry water in the trucks and we don't want that water to freeze," said AFD Station 6 Captain, David Kouba. "So, we make sure that the water is going to circulate really well in the fire truck. When the snow is really severe we will have our firefighter rehab crew available usually very quickly when we respond to a large incident, like a structure fire or a large vehicle collision with multiple vehicles."
Kouba said rehab crews will come out and help firefighter and rotate crews.
Local first responders face the same challenges that we see on the road, especially when there is snow.
Not only is it important to prepare the truck but it's essential to make sure firefighters have the appropriate gear and look out for ice on the roads.
Like the rest of us, they drive slower than usual and take precautions to avoid collision, and they are advising drivers to look out for more dangerous road conditions when snow melts and then refreezes.
"We are having some melts during the day that's going to freeze overnight, so you want to be extra careful watching out for black ice, you are not going to be able to see on overpasses and on bridges," Kouba said.
So far, firefighters have already responded to over 300 calls.
Around 6:00 p.m., Amarillo firefighters responded to about 93 calls and out of those calls 64 were EMS, meaning that they were medical emergencies or serious vehicle collisions.