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First responders prepare for worst from snowstorm

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 12 2014 04:34:32 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 12 2014 05:47:54 PM CST

First responders across the region are spending hours gearing up for the approaching snowstorm.

READING, Pa. -

First responders across the region are spending hours gearing up for the approaching snowstorm.

"We wanna make sure that we're prepared for anything," said Tpr. David Beohm, Pa. State Police.

Beohm told 69 News that troopers were preparing to spend most of the storm in the field.

On Wednesday, all vehicles were fully fueled and stocked with extra emergency blankets and flares. Car tires received cables.

"We'll send our folks out into their respective zones and [have them] hang out there," said Beohm, who added that other patrolman would be focusing on the interstates.

Meanwhile, fire crews were taking similar preparation measures Wednesday. "We make sure that the apparatus is properly fueled," said Todd Iaeger, Reading's fire marshal. "Maintain tools, power saws."

Iaeger said accidents and fires can spike during bad weather, and crews will therefore be prepared to call in as many extra hands as needed.

Jim Conrad, emergency manager for the city of Reading, said his crews were also preparing for the worst.

"Ambulances and so forth in the city are going to be running around the clock," said Conrad. "We'll have extra personnel on board with them to help as much as possible.

Conrad and other officials stressed how important it is for people to remain off of the roads during these storms.

"The emergency vehicles need to get through," said Conrad, who also asked that residents shovel properly, refraining from shoveling snow into the street.

Proper shoveling was also a tip stressed by Iaeger, who said fire crews can find hydrants more easily if sidewalks are shoveled.

"The least amount of time it takes us, and any sense of delay, is that much more critical to getting the fire out and saving somebody's life," said Iaeger.