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First Responders Also Battle Snow

By Matt Jarchow – Tuesday, January 19, 2016

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. — For many people, snow filled days like Tuesday are a great excuse to stay home. But for some, like local first responders, those days are spent on the roads. “The types of calls that would normally increase in this type of weather would be motor vehicle accidents, injuries related to a fall,” Northern Onondaga Volunteer Ambulance (NOVA) Executive Director John Marko said. Each call puts emergency responders at NOVA right in the same conditions that just caused an accident. “Just because we have the lights and siren doesn’t mean that we’re going to get their quicker,” Marko said. Instead, the conditions make response time slower. “It’s going to take us longer to get to a call,” Marko said. “It’s inevitable that this weather does slow our response times down.” Marko said crews are trained to drive in this weather. That doesn’t let them go faster, but helps ensure they’ll get to an accident safely. “Likewise with transporting to the hospital,” he said. “Our response times are going to be according to traffic and road conditions.” And if you get into an accident, and first responders are on their way, Marko recommends staying in your car. “Don’t get out,” he said. “Wait until first responders arrive. Always have a cell phone with you; be prepared.” A good lesson to remember, because this won’t be the last time winter unleashes its fury on Central New York this year.