Firefighters fight cold temperatures and frozen gear in local fires

A firefighter's primary job is to protect the public, but they also have to protect themselves.

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 3:09 PM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 9:11 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A firefighter's primary job is to protect the public, but they also have to protect themselves.

With the cold weather, it's been difficult to do both.

Water being sprayed into a burning house will often freeze on the inside and out, causing problems for firefighters.

There are many hazards during bad weather that can cause issues, but their main concern is their gear.

This week, radio's, air masks, and even clothes were completely frozen while working to put out fires.

"It will freeze on their gear. It will freeze on their radio's. If their radio's are frozen and I get trapped inside of the building, I can't push my Mayday button. So if I can't push my Mayday button, I can't get people to come and help me," said Norm Loudermilk, Terre Haute arson investigator.

While firefighters are working to save lives, they are risking their own. Especially during the winter.

Their clothes are made to protect them from heat, but not keep them warm in the cold.

"When the firefighters layer clothes underneath in order to stay warm, and then put the firefighter gear on, that causes them to over heat when they're in a fire," said Loudermilk.

One firefighter says they depend on each other to keep going and stay warm.

"The quartermaster came out and brought us more gloves, more hoods. We've got guys that brought us drinks and water... trying to keep everybody warm. Keep everybody going," said David Palmer, Terre Haute firefighter.

Fire officials say even on the cold days, it's important to remember those who are working hard to keep our community safe.

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