RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – Fighting fires is already dangerous for the Rapid City Fire Department, but the frigid temperatures add a new element to the danger.
Captain Calen Maningas from the Rapid City Fire Department says cold exposure is dangerous when fighting fires.
To ensure the water doesn’t freeze, firefighters re-circulate the pumps outside and when it comes to inside the building they have to leave the hoses running so the lines don’t freeze.
He says the main way to fight fires is with water and foam, but when it’s below zero these tactics will also add to the dangers of getting a fire out.
”The issue that arises with all of this is as we have lots and lots of moving water and water flowing just to keep our engines and our hose and everything from freezing up is now we’ve created a slip trip and fall hazard for all the firefighters because that freezes instantly,” says Maningas. “You put the water all over in zero degree weather it’s just all frozen. So it’s very dangerous footing wise then you can have a lot of injuries that way.”
Also to keep the firefighters safe in the cold temperatures, the department will bring out rehab units so the firefighters have a place to go to after they cycle out of the fire so they can warm up.
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