Video: Vicksburg Fire Department taking steps to respond in icy road conditions
Published 8:48 am Monday, February 15, 2021
Vicksburg Fire Chief Craig Danczyk was at a major structure fire late Sunday night. He was at another early Monday morning. In between, Danczyk was helping transport department personnel, unable to navigate the icy roads, get to work.
“It’s shift change right now and we are just trying to piece together personnel,” Danczyk said, as he was answering phones at Central Fire Station with one ear and listening to the dispatch calls of his team responding to a morning house fire on West Magnolia Street.
In addition, Danczyk was getting reports as vehicle maintenance teams were working to install snow chains — yes, snow chains — on many of the department’s fleet to help improve the department’s response in dangerous driving conditions.
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“We have enough accumulation on the ground now to where we can install the tire chains on our fire apparatus,” Danczyk said. “Doing so will greatly reduce our speed to 20 miles per hour or less — probably 15 miles per hour — but it is necessary for us to navigate the hills, climb these streets, especially the brick streets around downtown. They are far more treacherous than the concrete or asphalt streets when it gets icy.”
The department had difficulties early Monday in responding to the fire on West Magnolia Street. Given the steep incline, the department was forced to use different techniques, Danczyk said, to get water on the fire.
Vicksburg resident Bryan Curtis posted a video on Facebook showing the house fire and the difficulty fire units had in responding.
And the conditions are not expected to improve any time soon.
“Watching the weather, we will continue to see the accumulation of ice until early afternoon, and then we will have record cold temperatures, so the ice is going to stay around,” he said. “This won’t ease up until the ice beings to melt.”
Danczyk urged residents to shelter in place for the next 24 hours at least.
“I would not even go to the store or anywhere unless it is for medication that must be purchased,” he said. “Everyone needs to stay put for 24 hours.”