Rural Fire Departments Busy with Winter Weather

ROGERSVILLE, Mo. -- A week of winter weather on the Ozarks is creating havoc for businesses including first responders across the area.

The icy roads earlier this week along with a blanket of snow is testing many of the rural fire departments.

The Logan-Rogersville fire chief said the number of calls they responded to earlier this week was ten times the normal number. He said, luckily, they have slowed down.

"Late nights and early mornings especially when you involve getting called out at three in morning and then you got to be at work at eight o'clock in the morning," said one volunteer firefighter.

Will Cook goes to school full time, works full time and volunteers with the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District.

"Pursuing a career in the fire service has always interested me and I'm also looking to eventually be a fire marshall," said Cook.

Cook said weeks like this are tough trying to balance all the extra hours.

"You are trying to get your hours in as a resident and you always want to go on a call."

"There were some roll overs and some very, very heavy impacts on a lot of places," explained Chief Richard Stirts.

Stirts said Tuesday night his department responded to 30 calls in the district.

"30 is about ten times more than we usually. We run three to five calls a day on an average day."

Stirts said winter weather and rural roads do not mix well for drivers.

"Each one of those incidents had five, six, ten cars involved," said Stirts.

Not to mention, the slick obstacles firefighters face.

"We have a 165 square mile fire district and we are struggling in the whole 165 miles to help people."

Stirts said with the increase in the calls, they staff the volunteer stations.

"It was a great team effort by the career guys and the volunteers. It takes everybody."

Cook said the experience is priceless.

"I love it too much to do anything else so being able to get my experience in while I'm going to school," said Cook.

Stirts said while they were busy, it is a blessing no drivers or firefighters were hurt.

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