First responders in the winter: 'Your job becomes even more hazardous'

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We've all felt the chill of this cold, snowy winter. But it's been even worse for Lexington police officers and firefighters since they have to work outside every day. And they say the snow, ice, and cold temperatures have made their jobs even more challenging this winter.

Most of us can say without a doubt that if Old Man Winter left today, then we wouldn't miss him.

"I'm tired of it," said David Bevins, who lives in Lexington. "I'm ready for the snow and the cold to go away."

It's hard on us and our vehicles and kids missing school left and right. We don't want to get out in it and only do because we have to. But when you have an emergency in this kind of weather, remember who gets out in the cold and snow to come help.

As much as we might complain, these guys are out in the elements more than just about anyone.

"For the most part, it's just another day and a lot colder with a few more variables to sort out," said Sherelle Roberts, a spokesperson with Lexington Division of Police.

"Your job becomes even more hazardous," said Captain Arthur Ashley, with the Lexington Fire Department.

The weather only puts more obstacles in their way.

"Response time, getting to and from the scenes, keeping the guys warm, keeping the equipment from freezing up," said Captain Ashley.

"Because of ice or snow, some of our officers have skidded, they've been hit by other individuals," said Roberts. "So we've seen a few situations. We're not immune."

But in order to keep you safe, first responders must keep themselves safe as well, even if that means slowing down because of the road conditions.

"It may add a couple minutes or something to that nature," said Captain Ashley. "And I hate to say that because it could be a fire or something like that, but if we don't get there, we can't do anything."

The bottom line is they have to respond, even if they're skating on thin ice.

"It's been a long winter," said Captain Ashley. "I can't remember a winter as long as this in the 20 years I've worked here."

Another challenge for firefighters is they say they get more calls this time of year because they are also responding to exposure cases, slips and falls, and weather-related accidents.

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