Bristol, Va. -
Emergency workers have no choice but to get out in these frigid temperatures.
An early morning house fire in Bristol, Virginia had firefighters hard at work in 10-degree weather.
A laundry room fire broke out at a Westfield Street home in Bristol, Virginia early Friday morning, the temperature 10 degrees.
"Things don't function in 10 degree temperatures like they should like it's 60 degrees," Fire Chief J.C. Bolling tells us.
In cold weather flames aren't the only thing working against them.
"Equipment, we use water, values and couplings things like that can freeze so it's harder for equipment to work in these kind of temperatures," The chief said.
Luckily the crews were able to contain the morning fire to one section of the house but it takes a toll on firefighters and their gear.
"Turnout gear which protect them from the heat gets iced over and limits their mobility, the area that they're working on becomes slick so now we got fall hazards to deal with also," Bolling says.
Extreme weather means crews need to take extra steps to protect their own lives.
"our breathing apparatus, special care is taken that we do regular tests on the quality of the air that our compressor fills these bottles to make sure our moisture content is below what the regulations say to keep from freezing," Chief Bolling said.
And the most important piece of firefighting equipment is the firefighters themselves. Special care is taken to make sure they get proper rest during these emergency situations.