When I mentioned to some of my family and friends that it was time to start putting together an article for the winter edition, I received mixed reactions.

While some love the change of seasons and all that comes with it, others dread the four months that we call winter.

Me personally, I like the changing seasons. There is always something different. Nothing is routine. It keeps you from getting stuck in a rut, so to speak. Well, okay… maybe not during a snowstorm but, that’s another story.

How does the transition into winter effect the fire department? In almost every aspect of what we do, winter requires us to do things just a little bit differently.

I have written in previous articles on how inclement weather reduces our response time—how snow and ice impede our efforts at structure fires or on accident scenes and how having to dig out a snow-covered hydrant or traverse uncleared driveway may delay our operations.

We try to prepare for these challenges by keeping extra clothes in our lockers, ensuring that our trucks are maintained, and checking that the tire chains are in working order.

For prolonged events, we can call in other specific departments that are equipped with special heaters, blankets, and warming tents that can be set up quickly right on scene.

Of course, there are things you can do as well.

Our call volume does not necessarily rise during the winter months, but the types of calls generally do change. Because our homes are all closed up, we usually see an increase in fire and carbon monoxide detector alarms. When you are cooking those holiday meals and baking those special treats, please make sure that you keep a watchful eye.

When daylight savings time ends, the first week of November, make sure that you put fresh batteries in all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Check your fire extinguishers or purchase them if you do not have any!

Having your furnace and fireplaces inspected and cleaned before using them is always a good idea.

Keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow and ice may help to keep our medical responders from paying you a visit as slips, trips, and fall calls increase dramatically during winter weather.

Our department has had a very eventful year and there are no signs of it slowing down!

There have been a lot of training hours accrued, many advanced certifications achieved, and several new members have been accepted.

The online tip boards, fund drive letters, annual carnival, glow ball golf, and cornhole tournaments were all great successes.

The department appeared at several fire prevention events, and we were out patrolling our streets during Trick or Treat night.

By the time this article goes to print we will have held our annual awards and appreciation banquet.

In the planning stages are our kids Christmas party, several Christmas and holiday parades, A Very Merry Christmas in Chippewa event at Wright Fields on December 3, 2022, and back again this year, our Santa Stops tentatively scheduled for the evening of December 17th!

To keep up with all our happenings, please follow us on Facebook or visit our website.

In the meantime, our members would like to wish you the very Merriest of Christmases and the very best that all the seasonal holidays have to offer!

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