(AP) — Firefighters battling blazes in the extreme cold are faced with treacherous conditions that can slow them down when every second counts. Frozen hydrants and slick surfaces make an already difficult job even harder.
Cold-weather departments prepare months ahead for the coming freeze, readying equipment and changing how they approach fires in the coldest months.
They pack on extra layers in their go-kits, and some rub Vaseline on their faces to protect skin. Engineers who drive the trucks keep coffee cans full of sand or salt to add traction to the slick ground. Teams rotate in and out faster to avoid hypothermia.
Some departments have steam trucks that detach hoses and clothing frozen together. The water pumps on the engine are kept running to keep the water from freezing.
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