Texas Panhandle first responders have busy week with severe weather

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 9:08 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Multiple back-to-back severe weather events have many first responders working overtime to make sure those in the Texas Panhandle are safe.

First responders have dealt with and prepared for wildfires, rain, tornados and now a blizzard all in a matter of seven days.

“It was a pretty challenging week,” said Chris Forbis, Sheriff of Randall County.

That is how first responders are describing the severe weather events the Texas Panhandle has seen the last week.

“So, we’ve had fire weather, we’ve had tornados, we’ve had torrential down pours and now we’ve had a blizzard all in one week,” said Cody Snyder, public information officer, Amarillo Fire Department.

With severe weather comes an increase in calls.

“On those crazy weather days, call volume does pick up. On a day like today we get a lot of car wrecks,” said Snyder.

To help with the increase in calls, many agencies brought in extra staff.

“We were able to prepare our staff and have extra staffing ready for both on Saturday to respond to the tornado and then again, this morning. We had plenty of staff to go out. We had a lot of motorist we had to rescue from two or three areas in the county,” said Forbis.

At the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, investigators, command staff and support personal were brought in to help.

“It’s been challenging for our people, but they’ve been up to the task and they’ve done fantastic work for the past week and I can’t say enough about them,” said Forbis.

Even though it’s been a challenging week, many first responders say it isn’t anything they didn’t sign up for.

“It’s not anything we’re not use to or anything we didn’t sign up for. That’s what we do. The people that work here, they have servants’ hearts and that’s what they love to do,” said Forbis.

The Amarillo Fire Department says on days like today, first responders are in a lot of danger when they are out on the roads.

AFD reminds people to stay alert and slow down and pull over for emergency vehicles.

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