Winter Operations

Winter Operations Topic: Winter Operations Time Required: Two Hours Materials:    · Appropriate Audio-Visual Support References:    · Emergency Care, Eighth Edition, Brady    · Essentials of Fire Fighting...

      heat from motor to pump area)

  4. Vehicle in good working order

      a. Mechanical systems

      b. Electrical systems

      c. Hydraulic systems

      d. Pneumatic systems

  5. Good tire tread and proper tire pressure

  6. Snow tires or chains available

  7. Aggregate dispensing systems filled and working properly

  8. Instant chains in good working condition

  9. Gauges freezing

  10. Gates and valves freezing

B. Operators

  1. Refreshed on cold weather vehicle handling and operations

  2. Driving in snow and/or icy conditions

  3. Limited visibility from motorists

      a. Precipitation

      b. Darkness

      c. Fog

     d. Emergency lighting at scene

  4. Aerial apparatus stabilizer operations on ice

     a. May require chipping away ice

     b. May require aggregate under stabilizer plates

     c. Subsequent melting may affect vehicle stability

  5. Vehicles parked on ice, especially on inclines, may slide, even with brake set

C. Equipment

  1. Keep equipment on apparatus dry to prevent freezing

  2. Keep oxygen in oxygen systems warm

  3. Prevent freezing in water-based fire extinguishers

IV. Scene Operations

A. Equipment

  1. Combustible gas meters may not work properly in cold weather

  2. Gasoline powered engines and power tools difficult to start and keep running

  3. Gasoline in portable pump or power tool tanks may have water in them causing freezing

  4. Hose becoming brittle and difficult to move

  5. Ladders freezing up affecting extension and retraction

  6. Hand tool handles may become slippery

B. Scene Safety

  1. Ice forming on ground - may require aggregate

  2. Mist causing ladders to ice up - may require special climbing techniques to prevent slipping

  3. Cold air keeping toxic vapors low

  4. Watch traffic around emergency scene due to decreased visibility

  5. Consider extra traffic control measures due to decreased visibility and the requirement for greater

      stopping distances

  6. Steps and running boards on apparatus becoming slippery

  7. Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite

C. Operations

  1. Keeping patients warm and dry

      a. Extra blankets

      b. Plastic sheeting to keep dry

  2. Operating from elevated positions such as aerial ladders or platforms where temperatures may be


  3. Canteen service to provide warm beverages and food

  4. Extra staffing to rotate personnel

  5. Shelter for extended operations

      a. Apparatus

      b. Buses

      c. Other structures

  6. Gaining access to scene

      a. May not be able to get close to scene

      b. May not be able to access static water sources

      c. Fire hydrant caps may be frozen

      d. May require snow plowing to reach scene

      e. May require specialized vehicles

  7. Ability to remove and transport victims

      a. All-terrain vehicles

      b. Four-wheeled drive units

      c. Brush units or snow plows to accompany ambulances

  8. Initiate salvage operations to keep contents from getting wet and freezing

  9. Manage water runoff away from scene

  10. Provide adequate scene lighting due to decreased visibility

  11. Shutting off utilities may affect heating

  12. Consider relocation of displaced victims

  13. Consider relocating uninjured victims in auto accidents



Winter Operations

   · Types of Winter Conditions

   · Personal Protection

   · Vehicle Concerns

   · Scene Operations