Road conditions slow down first responders

Slick roads can lead to slowed responses to emergencies.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Because of the Martin Luther King holiday, traffic is much lighter for the evening commute, which is a good thing following Sunday’s snow and ice. When roads are slick with snow and ice, it doesn’t just slow you down, but also first responders.

“The first rule of arriving at a scene is you have to arrive safely first to be able to do any good,” says Lieutenant Chris Van Brackel with the traffic sector of Lexington Police.

Kentucky was hit with its second winter storm of the season over the weekend, once again making travel tough.

“It’s like okay, I’m trying to go as fast as I can in conditions somebody else just wrecked in,” says Van Breckel. “So that’s always in the back of our mind.”

“Fire apparatus operators do take a significant responsibility to try to get to any call for service effective, efficiently, and safely,” says Richmond Fire Public Information Officer Corey Lewis. “We don’t get there safely, we can’t provide or render aid so we do slow our response.”

According to the Lexington Fire Department, firetrucks are “winterized” to keep the water hoses from freezing and to best prepare for bad road conditions.

“Winter weather is an annual occurrence here in Lexington and it’s something we prepare for at the fire department,” says Major Jessica Bowman, Lexington fire PIO. “Firefighters are trained to work year-round in all types of weather and certainly this is something we’ve trained and prepared for today.”

First responders say there were fewer calls over the weekend compared to the first storm. Richmond fire says the decrease is due in part to the storm hitting on a Sunday and more people heeding the warnings to stay home. Lexington police says to watch out for black ice going into Tuesday morning as the melted snow and ice from Monday freezes overnight. Lexington police says if you have to go out on slick roads, slow down and increase the following distance between your car and others.

“Please give us more room, too,” says Van Brackel. “We’re going to be out on the side of the road working and the law does require folks to move over when they get to us, but especially now in these conditions, we really need you to slow down, give us a lot more room.”

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