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Big storm here - lots of fun firefighter stuff...

By Andrew Pollack on 12/07/2003 at 01:32 AM EST

So do you guys know what happens in big storm from the perspective of the "public safety" people in your town? I'd bet you would be surprised at just how much planning and care goes into making sure someone will be there when you call for help.

In our little town of less than 20 thousand people, we were told to expect heavy winds, extreme cold, and up to 18 inches (about half a meter) of snow depth -- with drifts twice that. Our chief made the determination that the drive times from home to the station and the dangers of that drive did not allow for a safe and effective response. The result of that decision -- something that happens here only about once a year -- the cots were dragged out and all personnel where asked to cover the three stations during the night.

That means the volunteers in our town left their warm, comfortable beds and the protection of their own families to sleep on cots in a meeting room just in case someone needed them. I'll bet the same thing happened in your town if you live someplace small enough to have a volunteer department.

You think about that -- I'm off to get some sleep. I still have a lot of snow to dig out in the morning at my own house.

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