December 29, 2017 7:19 pm
Updated: January 8, 2018 2:06 pm

Saskatoon’s first responders braving the cold

WATCH ABOVE: It's business as usual for Saskatoon's emergency services as extremely cold temperatures persist.

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While going outside during these extreme cold warnings is not recommended, emergency responders are withstanding the frigid temperatures.

“We do have beat officers currently working in the downtown district, making sure people are safe and reminding people that if they are outside that maybe they should go back in and warm up,” Saskatoon police Cst. Ryan Ehalt said.

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“It’s business as usual for us. The weather doesn’t matter, so we’re ready to go,” assistant fire Chief Wayne Rodger said.

The key to staying warm, “lots of layers and lots of coffees,” according to Ehalt.

As for firefighters, Rodgers explains that they switch out people to make sure everyone stays warm.

“If we’re going to be at an incident for a prolonged period of time, we’re prepared to bring crews from other locations in to replace them as quickly as needed.”

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Rodgers added that a few factors play into how firefighter choose to dress under their gear.

“Depending on the type of call you go to, you can be working pretty hard, pretty quickly, which then you develop your own heat inside our turnout gear. The experience kind of comes into play for them. They’ll know depending on the type of call they have, how much they’re going to want to wear.”

Along with trying to stay warm first responders also face some unique challenges when it comes to their equipment.

“We’ve got sensitive information computers that are inside the police vehicles and those can’t get cold for very long so you’ll often see police vehicles staying on just to keep that equipment working,” Ehalt said.

“We carry water on our pumpers, keeping that in mind, with water freezing quite quickly in these low temperatures, we take some precautions so our equipment will operate as expected,” Rodgers said.

READ MORE: Staying safe during extreme cold weather

As the extreme cold warning continues, police are reminding residents to stay indoors if possible.

The Saskatoon Fire Department is also reminding people to make sure their carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working as furnaces go into overdrive.

The cold spell is expected to break in the New Year.

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