Crews prep for slick conditions in Christiansburg

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- With icy conditions possible through Thursday afternoon, Christiansburg Rescue Chief Joe Coyle said now is not the time for bold decisions.

"People have 4-wheel drive and they think, 'Oh, well I can drive in the snow with 4-wheel drive.' That is not the case with ice. Nothing goes in the ice unless you have chains," Coyle said.

So, crews spent all day Wednesday preparing those chains on rescue vehicles, including the squad's UTV, a smaller vehicle that can be deployed to assess situations to see if more resources are needed.

"If we have a lot of incidents out on 81 or 460 and it's very difficult to access, both because of the weather conditions and because you have cars all over the road, that's much easier to access the scene," Coyle said.

With the expectation of ice, the rescue squad shifts to an inclement weather policy to keep both citizens and responders as safe as possible.

"We aren't always going to send the same equipment out that we would in day-to-day operations and, as a matter of fact, we may delay responding to calls or we may not respond to certain calls based on the information from dispatch and how they're triaged," Coyle said.

Though it would be the first winter weather event of the season, Coyle said there are no "first storm jitters" for this one.

"We think we're going to have the likelihood of some significant ice accumulation, but it's not a Snow-mageddon and I think we'll be fine," he said.