Fire calls in the winter can pose difficulties for fire departments as they fight fires as well as freezing cold temperatures. 

Redvers Fire Chief Brad Hutton said the cold can contribute to a high volume of calls. The increase is often due to simple things such as furnace plates and exhausts freezing and setting off fire alarms.  

There is an increase in the use of furnaces and power systems during the colder days. 

“You run the risk of more fires and issues in that direction as well," said Hutton. 

The weather also affects how the firefighters respond once they arrive on the scene.  

Fuel in the trucks may gel up if it has been sitting in the heated garage, and then exposed to extreme cold temperatures. This leads to the trucks being left on for the duration of the call.  

“You always have to monitor the trucks extra close.”  

Hutton said that the crew dress in extra layers of clothing under their gear and bring at least one additional vehicle to act as a warming centre.

An extra person is on the scene to monitor the firefighters as an extra precaution during the winter months. 

“If they get cold or start to freeze, we pull them out of service and switch them with another.”  

Equipment is at risk of freezing during days when temperatures reach minus 30 or lower.   

“It’s all cold water coming out of hydrants, nothing is heated.” 

Hutton explained that you must leave the water circulating the whole time. 
“Which also runs the risk of ice and slip hazards on the scene.”  

This can also cause gloves, nozzles, and connectors to freeze.