Firefighters endure bitter cold while working outdoors

Firefighters in Fairfield are enduring the bitter cold temperatures outside as they work to put out fires this time of year.

News 12 Staff

Jan 29, 2021, 9:55 PM

Updated 1,232 days ago

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Firefighters in Fairfield are enduring the bitter cold temperatures outside as they work to put out fires this time of year.
"When you have temperatures in the teens and the wind in the 20s like it is now, you're looking at a wind chill below zero. And that wind chill temperature, you can have frostbite set in at 30 minutes or less," says Dr. Victor Morris, chief medical officer at Bridgeport Hospital.
It's something the crew at Fairfield Station 2 knows all too well.
"Very cold outside today. Definitely not a day you want to be outside for long," Lt. Kevin Polcer says.   
That means layering up under their turnout gear.
 "When you're working out, you don't feel the cold. But when you stop and your clothes are now damp from sweating, that's when you become cold. And that's when hypothermia can really set in," Polcer says.
Polcer says he makes sure to swap out his crew often, so they get relief from the cold.
"Usually when you go through your bottle, that's usually a good time to look at your guys for rehab and see how they're doing," Polcer says.  
Their calls go far beyond fighting fires though and they usually respond to heating system issues, carbon monoxide calls in the home, and icy roads that cause accidents.
That was the case just this morning when station 2 responded to a two-car accident on Black Rock Turnpike.
"We were only out there for 10 to 15 minutes. But the guys were like, 'Wow, it's really cold out,'" Polcer says.
They're battling the bitter cold to get the job done, no matter what.
 "Obviously we're concerned No. 1 about the public. But then we also have to be concerned about our own guys, and keep everybody safe, and do our job safely for everybody," Polcer says.


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