If you call 911 for a storm-related emergency, the Richmond Fire Department has extra firefighters ready and waiting. That increased personnel level will be there to ride out the storm with city residents.
The department is very specific in its extra staffing. There are certain specialties, which could come in handy in Sandy. Now, more than a dozen extra firefighters are ready to respond to your storm related emergencies.
All this rainwater coming down has to go somewhere. When drains fill up around the city, there's a good chance you'll be navigating a shallow river on the streets.
That's why there are four extra firefighters at station one in Church Hill, which is home to the water rescue team.
"For this type of event they're also skilled in localized standing water type issues, swift water type rescues in the event there are stranded motorists," Lt. Robbie Hagaman explained.
You'll also see more department SUV's on the street. Richmond has added extra fire marshal teams. They'll come out and assess things like downed power poles and power lines, so the department doesn't have to tie up an entire engine or truck for those types of calls.
As the wind begins to gust, extra technical team members are also waiting.
"Any kind of structural collapse, any kind of confined space issues, any kind of high angle rescues, those are the individuals we send out for those calls," Hagaman said.
Traditional fire emergencies are also coming in. Folks are finding issues after turning on the furnace or space heater or lighting up the fireplace for the first time this year as Sandy continues to drop the temperatures.
"We're going to be here," Hagaman added. "If you dial 911 we're coming but we just ask everyone to be smart."
The department is constantly reassessing to see if that extra staffing is necessary. The levels could fluctuate as conditions deteriorate.
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