First responders take extra precautions during winter weather

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The roads and highways started thawing today after temperatures rose above freezing, but the past two have been busy for first responders who work to keep us safe.

The Director of Operation Services for Kirk's EMS Bruce Crowell said they've had to take extra precautions during this winter weather while responding to emergencies or taking people to the hospital.

"When we are called upon we have to have to respond, you know, no matter what type of weather it is," said Crowell.

In the past 36 hours, they've responded to nearly 45 calls.

"Not all weather related. The weather has slowed our response down because we can't travel like we normally do and of course, we've had to stop some out of town stuff due to road conditions because of treacherous highways and conditions on here and only not here, but in Oklahoma City and other places too," said Crowell.

With freezing rain and sleet Crowell said they have to be extra careful transporting people to the hospital. They triple check the road conditions, give themselves more time for braking distance while driving, and are aware of their surroundings and other drivers.

"You know, the best way to get there is the safest way. So it's not always the fastest we want to get the patient, they are safe, we can treat patient while we're in route. So you know, first first case is to make sure that the patient is safe and the crews are safe and all the people around us are safe," said Crowell.

Crowell adds he is glad the winter weather we've had this week is almost over.

"The good thing is there's a lot of people go to staying in when the weather gets bad like this, so we don't have a lot of extra traffic or heavy traffic that we have to handle. The problems that we had to deal with last night and early this morning was our side street or side streets were really, really slick. It hazardous where our main thoroughfares, we're more open, so we had to take consideration which pathways we're going to travel, you know, and try to use the more open pathway," said Crowell.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.