MARYLAND (DC News Now) — Firefighters and EMS across Maryland see an uptick in emergencies when it’s snowing, which also means slower response times.
There are some things residents can do to help emergency crews respond faster.
“Ultimately, the emergencies are there and we do see an uptick,” Teresa Crisman, director of public affairs for the Maryland Fire Marshal, said.
No matter the weather, firefighters and EMS are always ready to respond to emergencies, but when it snows, sometimes it takes a little longer to get there like when drivers abandon their cars in the snow.
“If you’re out there and the snow becomes too much for you, or your car can’t get through the snow, that hazard, that blockage to the road slows us down,” Crisman said.
Having unshoveled driveways and sidewalks is a common issue first responders see as well.
“A lot of times the firemen will carry shovels and extra stuff on the units. They got to dig out a hydrant or when they’re having to dig out space for them to get to the homes because they haven’t been shoveled,” she said.
Crisman says to be aware of fire and safety hazards around your homes especially when it snows.
Make sure heaters are at least 3 feet away from any items.
Keep any generators 20 to 30 feet away from the home.
Don’t leave candles burning unattended.
Dispose of fireplace ashes safely.
Check your pipes.
Charge all devices ahead of time.
“We protect ourselves when we go outside, put on gloves, we put on a hat, put on everything that protects us. We have to think about that for our home to have to walk around their home and say ‘okay, well this is a hazard,'” she said.