Emergency crews tell us to stay off the roads when it snows, but they don't have that option when a 911 call comes in.
It's almost like two different seasons across Carter County. Fall hangs on in the lower elevations, but climb the mountains and you'll find winter's early arrival.
"The Roan Mountain, Elk Mills, Hampton communities of Carter County, the higher elevations, and weather don't mix well with response,” says Anthony Roberts with the Carter County Rescue Squad.
In times when every second counts, the road conditions can make it hard for emergency crews to reach their destinations.
There are several roads across Carter County where there is so much snow you can barely see the road.
“We also use four-wheel-drive Suburbans that have cots to transport the patients from the scene to where the ambulance is waiting," says Roberts.
When the roads are snow and ice covered, crews can’t respond as normal. They have to plan ahead before they leave the station to determine the most snow-free route.
The most recent snow storm forced the rescue squad to call in extra crews because of the road conditions.
The rescue squad responded to 11 calls for help that required special 4-wheel-drive vehicles to reach patients.