Emergency call volume stays steady amid winter storm

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 11:10 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - On a blustery night with snow piles on just about every sidewalk, the few and far between open signs at places like Community Inn in Grandin Village are luring people in.

“It was a little slippery but it wasn’t too bad, they kept most of the roads plowed, but it’s a little slick in some spots,” said Salem resident Charlie Counts

“The roads are plowed, everything is covered in snow, it’s nice,” said Grandin Village resident Caroline Gallagher.

The last 48 hours, though, have been part of a different story, especially for first responders.

“We weren’t making our benchmarks of getting there in 8 minutes or less 90 percent of the time, but that’s something because of the weather, we have to understand, the public is very understanding of that,” said Roanoke Fire and EMS Chief David Hoback.

While Hoback says Monday’s call volume didn’t see a significant spike, there were still incidents that needed a response.

“Our fire trucks have hard chains, as do our ambulances. We actually have three 4-wheel drive ambulances up and operational, but during the peak of the storm they actually had to be chained up just because they were sliding,” said Hoback.

With temperatures set to increase Wednesday, driving through the remnants for trucks and cars alike should become easier.

According to Hoback, traditionally within 3 days of snowfall, chains can be dropped.

But another cold snowy system could bring everyone back to square one.

“I love winter when there’s snow. If there’s no snow, I’d rather it be summer,” said Gallagher.

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