Cherokee County First Responders work year round, with no snow d - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee County First Responders work year round, with no snow days.



We've seen our fair share of challenging roadways over the past couple days. Many have kept drivers off the roads, but for emergency responders...they don't have that luxury.

"Law enforcement services...we're there 365 days a year..24 hours a day...including snow days because we need to be there for any resident that needs our services, regardless of the weather conditions." says Cherokee County Sheriff, David Groves.

Mother nature's winter wrath may have closed schools, but for first responders, it's just another day, with a few added changes.

"There's really not anything different that we do, but the crews have to pay a lot more attention to their truck checks, the tires, the conditions of their vehicle." says Cherokee County EMS, Baxter Springs, Operations Manager, Jason Bolt.

For the two departments, working year round is a part of the job. And that job becomes busier as the weather gets worse.

"When the weather gets bad and the roads get bad, our call volume goes up. We run more car accidents, we run more traumatic injuries from slip and fall on the ice type of situations, and we transport more patients. And all of those transports take longer because of the road conditions." Bolt says.

No matter what vehicle emergency responders are driving, the weather elements still pose the same dangers. Ice will still be ice and snow will still be snow. They both cause the same hazardous conditions for emergency responders as they do for drivers.

The biggest challenge for first responders? Arriving at a scene quick enough, without posing a danger to themselves and to others.

"The deputies, fire personnel, medical personnel, everyone responding to that scene is going on those same dangerous roads as the initial person, and the response can be very delayed." Groves says.

"The biggest strain on our system is that an ordinary call that normally takes 45 minutes now takes an hour and a half." Bolt says.

Responders urge drivers to be aware that time is of the essence, and getting somewhere quick, is not worth a life.


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