Firefighters battle deep freeze

In addition to the threat of flames, firefighters responding to calls Wednesday battled bitter cold that froze water hoses and one major challenge: frostbite.



Doctors say it normally takes about 15 to 20 minutes for frostbite to set in. For firefighters, the water they use to douse flames and even their sweat can cut that time in half.



News 12 traveled with Bridgeport firefighters as they responded to calls. When temperatures drop, firefighters across southwestern Connecticut and elsewhere wear more layers, making their gear heavier, and they often pack bags with extra socks, gloves and sweatshirts.



Despite their many layers of clothing, frostbite remains a real concern.



"Even though we are covered...you still have your face exposed a little bit," said Bridgeport Assistant Fire Chief Robert Morton. "And in this brutal weather, it doesn't take long."



On cold nights, crews have to work faster than they normally do and firefighters are often rotated in so that no one is exposed to the freezing cold for too long.


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