Weather slows down, but doesn't stop, Ottumwa Fire Department

Heavy snow can make getting to a call dangerous for Ottumwa firefighters.

While heavy snow can make it frustrating for residents to get around town, it can make a firefighter's job very difficult.

Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller said whenever there is inclement weather, the first thing the department does is be sure to slow down and be careful on the roads when responding to a call. Miller said they won't go through intersections as quickly as they normally would, since getting to the call is the responders' first priority.

"Being a fire department, we're 24/7, we don't have that option where we can say, 'we're going to sit this one out', because when somebody calls 9-11, they call the fire department, there's a reason they're calling," he said. "And [never], ever do we not make a call."

Miller said the cold temperatures don't affect Ottumwa Fire Department's operations, but it can affect their equipment. One truck was taken out of commission already this year when its parts froze due to the extremely cold temperatures.