First responders brave frigid Siouxland temperatures - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

First responders brave frigid Siouxland temperatures

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -

UPDATE: 

The frigid temperatures make it difficult for anyone to be outside. 

The cold weather can make it especially hard for the equipment used by firefighters.

"It's absolutely brutal," says Lt. Kevin Keleher with Sioux City Fire rescue. 

First responders can't let these brutal temps across Siouxland slow them down when there's an emergency. 

That's why firefighters with Sioux City Fire rescue make sure they're prepared when the below zero temperatures set in. 

"Every day we make sure our equipment is in top notch shape. A day like this is really no exception," says Keleher.

Firefighters have plenty of equipment they rely on when duty calls. 

And, they have a few ways of making sure everything is in working order when they have to battle a blaze. 

"When temperatures are this cold our drivers, especially of our engines, they'll keep our pumps engaged and be recirculating water, usually moving water will not freeze," 

Making sure the pumps are operational in this type of weather is key. 

"The things we may do is double check that our pump heaters are working, keep our pumps warm, make sure all of our valves are free," says Keleher.

The equipment isn't the only thing that needs to be ready to go in this weather. 

The first responders themselves need to be protected from the dangerously low temperatures. 

And, that's easier said than done. 

"Ice makes like a protective shield covering over your gear, when you stop and maybe warm up for a little bit all of that ice melts and then it makes you colder actually," Keleher.

Keeping Siouxland safe in the freezing cold. 


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Most of us are avoiding going outside in these temps, or at least staying out of the cold as much as we can. 

First responders don't have that pleasure. 

They work in all types of weather, including these almost unbearable temperatures. 

Sioux City Fire Rescue says it's all about being prepared when the temperatures dip this low. 

They have a lot of equipment to keep operational, which can be hard to do when called out to a fire. 

When at a scene Sioux City Fire Rescue has to make sure their trucks stay warm and working, so they keep them running. 

Those who drive the trucks make sure the pumps are always circulating water so it doesn't freeze when battling a blaze. 

They always make sure they have plenty of layers on. 

"It is absolutely brutal. the worst part about it is you get out in the cold, you get working, you get hot, even when it's this cold out you may sweat. And, then if you go to take a break or rehab a little bit you'll cool down," says Lt. Kevin Keleher with Sioux City Fire rescue. 

Keleher says that cool down actually makes things much worse for them because they get so cold. 

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