First responders prepare for winter weather - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

First responders prepare for winter weather

HEMSI brought on extra staff to handle the winter weather. HEMSI brought on extra staff to handle the winter weather.

First responders are preparing for winter weather in Madison County.

HEMSI will have extra units in place so they can attend to weather-related emergencies.

The extra man power will remain until Friday, according to HEMSI officials.

Even when the snow subsides, HEMSI will stay prepared for possible black ice conditions on roads.

HEMSI officials joined other first responders at a weather briefing in Huntsville Wednesday.

HEMSI Chief Operations Officer Don Webster said they're already seeing a higher volume of calls because of the flu.

Add the possibility of weather-related accidents and they have a very full day ahead of them.

First responders said they have to address every emergency call, even the minor ones.

"People are going to be getting up and going out to get the newspaper, or going to work. We worry about slips and falls, and then we worry about the traffic conditions and motor vehicle accident, especially in the higher elevations," said Webster.

Elevated areas like bridges and overpasses are expected to freeze and first responders urge drivers to use caution.

Huntsville-Madison County EMA officials also warned about slippery conditions and limited visibility.

"The next few days are going to be hazardous days for roadways, hazardous days for anyone in the higher elevations, hazardous for anyone crossing bridges or overpasses, to get from one place to another. You may have to use alternate routes, and drive very safely and very carefully and be aware of your surroundings when you're on the road," said Madison County EMA officer Paige Colburn.

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