Emergency crews battle winter weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Emergency crews battle winter weather

by John Wilmer

Waterloo (KWWL) --  During severe weather, many of us get off the roads, but that's exactly where emergency crews are needed most. Two Iowa State Troopers were hit on Wednesday.

The first happened in Harrison county while a trooper was helping a stranded motorist. A passing car lost control and pinned the trooper between two cars, breaking his leg. The second accident happened in Franklin county. The patrol has not released any information.

First responders know the risks when they take the job, but many of those risks could actually be eliminated if others were more responsible.  

Winter is the most dangerous time of year for emergency crews. Two troopers with the Iowa State Patrol, who were only doing their job found that out the hard way. 

"They were on the side of the road and they were struck by vehicles that had lost control and with the weather conditions and road conditions they were struck while on the side of the road.  It's a very dangerous time of year for us," Trooper Mark Sigwarth said.

The Waterloo Fire Department has also been busy responding to a number of accidents. Officials with the department are also asking for the publics help when it comes to fighting fires. They want to remind people to clear the snow off and around nearby fire hydrants. 

"When I made the statement about hydrants being buried I don't want that to be misconstrued as if you can see the top it's not buried. We need to be able to access the caps and have space to work around it," Waterloo Fire Chief, Doug Carter said.

But it's those who chose to drive during treacherous conditions that may end up doing the most damage. 

"We're called, the ambulance might be called, fire departments, tow trucks and now not only are you putting yourself at risk but you're putting other people at risking including ourselves as troopers because we have to respond to that," Trooper Sigwarth said.

"We're here 24/7.  We are here no matter what the weather, but if don't have to be out don't be out," Chief Carter said.

The Waterloo Fire Department is willing to help those who can clear out around their own fire hydrants. If you live in Waterloo and need you can call the fire department at 319-291-4460.

Clearing fire hydrants is not a small task and that's why fire departments are asking for your help. In Cedar Rapids alone there are nearly 4,800 public fire hydrants and about 1,800 private fire hydrants. All of which are found within the city limits.


Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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