Emergency Officials Brace For Cold


Friday January 3, 2014


Rls #: 14-0103a





Emergency services prepare, and urge citizens to prepare, for Winter weather blitz


Cookeville, Tenn - As more winter weather and the lowest temperatures seen in two decades bears down on Middle Tennessee, local emergency officials are preparing and monitoring the weather closely. 


" We monitor live weather radar and cameras that allows us to see all across the county in the 911 center," states Randy Porter, Putnam County 911 / EMS director. We watch it closely to anticipate any needs to get ahead of the hazardous conditions and make sure we are ready to respond."


During times of winter weather, emergency medical service personnel rely on support from the volunteers of the Putnam County Rescue Squad, with 4 wheel drive capability to assist getting ambulances to and from emergency calls.


"We have sent crews in 4 wheel drive vehicles with EMS crews for many years. If an ambulance has to stop too far away from a house, or if they slide off the road / driveway, we are right with them. They don't have to wait for a four wheel drive to get to them, we are already there. states Tyler Smith, Putnam County Emergency Management Agency director.


We utilize our EMS supervisors and other administrative personnel to help out in bad weather, but what the rescue squad does to help us is invaluable. Many of them are first responders, EMTs, and paramedics, so that adds another level of care in an already bad situation," states Porter.


Since many homeowners use alternate heat sources during extreme cold, officials remind you to take appropriate precautions. "We have seen people lose their lives across the county during cold snaps like this by using fuel burning heat sources or portable generators if the power goes out. Many of these are not designed for use in enclosed spaces so be sure to know the manufacturer's instructions and properly ventilate them."states Smith. "Those who are on prescription medicines should look ahead a few days to make sure they have enough medicine to get them through until they are able to get out to the pharmacy. Having working smoke alarms and practicing routine home fire safety is also a must during these times," states Porter 


Pets should also be considered, since temperatures are much lower than they are accustomed to in this area. Ensuring pets have plenty of food, water, and adequate shelter is important.


Emergency management officials remind everyone to monitor television and radio weather coverage, as well as monitor emergency agency social media sources for updated information.


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