Sioux Falls, S.D. - The weather is keeping most of us indoors this weekend, but first responders don't really have a choice to be outside. They brave whatever Mother Nature throws at them, all to help keep you safe.
“We don’t get the chance to go we're closed for the day,” Paramedic Matthew Gruchow said.
Come rain or shine, or even an April blizzard, first responders are there to help those in need.
“The job is inherently dangerous the way it is on a good day, but the weather certainly makes things like rescues, extrications, and patient care much more difficult in certain situations,” Gruchow said.
Paramedics said the calls received during winter storms are typically the same as any other day.
“It can go from slow to busy. Busy to slow again,” Gruchow said.
Responding to those calls becomes much harder when the snow falls.
“This is a case where we are running lights and sirens, but it’s not really saving us a whole lot of time because of the weather conditions. This is an example of why blizzards can lengthen our response time,” Gruchow said.
First responders are in the elements no matter the conditions.
“We're at the same sorts of risks, frostbite, and hypothermia,” Gruchow said.
While on the roads they see plenty of stuck vehicles and say no one, not even themselves, are safe from Mother Nature.
“We’re driving a big box on wheels and they don’t particularly respond well to ice and snow and high winds,” Gruchow said.
They said if you absolutely have to be out, be safe.
“Drive carefully if you have to go out. Otherwise if there’s no travel advised don’t travel,” Gruchow said.
Paramedics said strong winds make driving that “box on wheels” much more difficult because it can easily tip over in winter conditions.