Tuesday not a snow day for everybody, emergency crews needed - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Tuesday not a snow day for everybody, emergency crews needed even in the worst weather

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Rockford Fire Department Lt. Judd Griffith (left) Rockford Fire Department Lt. Judd Griffith (left)
PCT Sarah Leon & RN Catey Judd PCT Sarah Leon & RN Catey Judd

Thousands of Rockford area students and countless workers enjoyed the day off Tuesday, but it's not a snow day for everybody. What about the emergency crews we rely on no matter what the weather? Police stations, hospitals and fire stations have to stay open 24/7, but it's tough to find any of those employees complaining about coming in to work.

"We're not jealous of the teachers who have a snow day today, it's just part of the job." -says SwedishAmerican Health System Registered Nurse Catey Judd.

Rockford Fire Department Lieutenant Judd Griffith agrees, "We're proud to be here today and this is when we know people need us the most."

Griffith says you can't predict a firefighter's work day, but the department takes extra precautions for the problems most seen in snowy weather.

"We'll carry extra blankets on the vehicle for patients who may need it if there's any delay of some sort to keep people warm and dry. We can expect to see cardiac emergencies from people shoveling some heavy snow." -he explains.

As far as putting out fires, Griffith says snow actually doesn't help.

"It's just going to slow us as far as how fast we can get there."

After fire crews arrive on the scene, patients could be transported to SwedishAmerican Health System, but Judd explains winter storms don't necessarily mean busy days there.

"You would think with the snow, that it would bring more people in, but it's actually the opposite." -she says.

According to Swedes Patient Care Technician Sarah Leon, the weather also affects individuals coming into the hospital who don't need care.

"Not as many visitors have been up, but there have been lots of calls, checking on how loved ones are doing because people aren't able to get in today." -she adds.

Since hospital workers are expected to show up every day on time, they've got volunteers and security with better winter weather vehicles to give people rides if their cars can't get the job done.

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