Fighting fires even in the cold

Published 01/06 2014 10:44PM

Updated 01/06 2014 10:49PM

Champaign -- Many of you were able to stay home from work today but not firefighters.

They had to do their jobs in this extreme weather.

Imagine spending hours outside and putting out fires.

It's been a long day for the champaign fire department.

"Today since the shift started at 7 o'clock this morning i think we have had about 30 calls in the city of Champaign," says Lt. John Hocking

It's been about 24 hours since the snow storm hit. Lt. John Hocking is working his second straight 24 hour shift working through extreme elements.

It can be miserable unless you take care of yourself. We have something called winter bags that we throw on the truck that have extra clothes, extra socks, dry stuff. Getting wet isn't really a good thing in this weather."

Unfortunately, water is needed to fight fires - so getting wet is inevitable.

And believe it or not as long as it doesn't get inside their uniform, getting wet can be a good thing.

"When it's this cold, you'll get water on the outside and it freezes and that keeps all the wind out. So basically you have 32 degrees on top of you. The ice is 32 degrees it keeps that wind-chill off of you. So sometimes being colder than ice is actually a good thing as long as you can still move."

Hocking has done 48 hour shifts plenty of times but admits the cold does take a lot more out of firefighters.

He says it can be difficult to keep morale up but this extended family does what it can to enjoy their time together.

"I think last night i saw a few snow balls flying around the truck here. So some things started happening here. We make the most it."

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