BRATENAHL, Ohio (WJW) – Video released to the FOX 8 I-Team helps show the impact of this week’s winter storm on the people who keep you safe when you call 911.
In fact, the latest severe winter weather led us to look at how first responders have had to help and protect themselves.
Bratenahl police video captured Friday before dawn shows officers at the scene of an accident on the Shoreway with frigid winds blowing driving snow.
“I’m telling you, ma’am, we’re trying to keep everybody safe,” an officer tells a driver on the side of the road.
The driver later told police how she crashed her car, saying, “I’m trying to control it and I can’t. It started spinning.”
She ended up hitting a large mail truck.
“I see this car going like ‘this.’ I thought she was going to hit the median, but she came and hit me,” the truck driver said.
Police have been busy handling crashes and closing roads due to snow and ice. At one point, Gates Mills police closed Mayfield Road.
Meanwhile, dispatchers kept taking more and more calls.
One woman called 911 and said, “I’m 76 years old. My car is stuck and I hardly have any gas.”
Parma firefighters use torpedo heaters, which are long cylinder heaters that they make sure they have in bitterly cold weather.
“You come out of a fire, you’re hot, you’re wet. In these temperatures, your equipment will freeze within seconds, so we provide the torpedo heaters to give the guys a little bit of a respite when they’re on the scene to keep them warm,” Parma Fire Department spokesman TJ Martin said.
The Parma Fire Dept. also keeps snow plows on call to help get crews to a scene when the roads are especially dangerous.
Often, firefighters also carry some extra gloves and more.
We also heard Cleveland police radio traffic telling officers to make sure they keep at least half a tank of gas in their patrol cars. They can’t get caught in this weather low on fuel.
In Richmond Heights, police captured video of a new city service vehicle zipping along helping to clear cul-de-sacs.
The Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency points out that the challenge in weather like this doesn’t end when the snow stops.
“In an event like this, there’s an expectation there will be damage and debris that will have to be addressed in the recovery phase, so we want to make sure that we’re monitoring that,” County Emergency Management Director Mark Christie told us.
Back at the scene of the crash in Bratenahl, that police video gives us another look at severe winter weather through the eyes of the folks you call for help.
As an officer took pictures and gathered information about what happened, she reminded a driver involved that it’s OK to get out of the cold. Police would take care of the rest.
“If you want to sit in your truck, you can,” she said.