TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In the last week many businesses were shut down and people stuck inside because of the snow and ice. However, first responders were in the elements helping those in need.
The engine bay at Fire Station 1 in Tyler was empty Sunday afternoon as crews were out on calls. Tyler Fire Marshall and PIO Paul Findley said the last week firefighters and administrators have faced many challenges from conserving water to having delayed response times.
“Our call volume from last Sunday to midnight Saturday night, last night, was up nearing a 250 percent increase in the total call volume that we would normally have over a week’s period of time,” Findley said.
There was such a need that they had to bring in two extra engines, running 24 hours a day, to help respond to every call.
“Pulling people out of ditches and catching calls here and there because they’ve just been all over the city,” he said. “They’ve done a lot of shutting off water to houses that are flooding.”
They’ve seen an increase in structure fires as well. Findley said some have been cooking related, while others were electrical issues and home heating.
“Building fires, structure fires. Last year if you’d been standing here asking me what our past week looked like we had like one. This week we’ve had 13 or 14 as of midnight last night,” he said.
The number of vehicle accidents remained steady. Findley said crews also helped get nursing home patients to and from buildings to buses.
“Hopefully over the next week we’ll be able to recoup, get everything back up to pre-severe winter weather conditions and we’ll be good to go,” Findley said.
They remind people to make sure you have working smoke detectors and if you’ve got gas fired appliances in your home that you’ve got a carbon monoxide detector as well.