Waterloo firefighters prepare for emergencies in bitter cold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo firefighters prepare for emergencies in bitter cold temps


After a warm December day Saturday, a cold front brought back bitter cold temperatures to eastern Iowa Sunday.

For firefighters, they are prepared to tackle any kind of weather in an emergency.

"The last cold snap that we had we did have a fire which when the pump arrived on scene it was frozen. The pump operator did a good job then doing some changes, doing some things and did get us water," said Battalion Chief Mike Moore. 

Moore says weather like Sunday's bitter cold temperatures sometimes add to the pressure of an emergency. That's why they take precautions.

He says when the weather gets this cold, they will drain the water from their fire engines.

"When we take out engines out they have a tank of water, full tank of water and there's plumbing in there that has water in it so by draining that we reduce the risk of having a frozen line somewhere when we arrive on scene," said Moore. 

Moore says sometimes the cold weather affects key equipment useful for battling a blaze. He says sometimes it can get so cold that even the caps to the fire hydrants can freeze. 

"It's happened several times and usually there's ways you can get the caps off, but again it's that moment of things not working right and the cold tends to do that with everything. Things just don't work right when it gets to be as severely cold as it's going to be here," said Moore. 

Moore says they also have to protect themselves from the cold temperatures. He says their gear is limited to keeping them warm, so they must wear extra layers.



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