Washington FD overcomes challenges

Downing: City depts. worked together during extreme weather

By Abby Shrout - [email protected]

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Due to the extreme sub-zero weather conditions over the holidays in the area, the Washington Fire Department received an influx of calls requesting services and faced multiple challenges.

Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the department received 19 calls regarding broken and busted pipes, broken sprinkler systems due to the frozen water lines, structure fires and building fires.

Washington Fire Chief Tim Downing recently spoke with the Record-Herald about the unsettling conditions.

“Around the holidays, what tends to happen is an increase in alternative heating usage, cooking large meals, things of that nature,” he said. “I think in this case, the weather played a huge part in the issues some of the citizens were facing.”

The city also faced a water shortage that began on Dec. 28 due to water leaks within the system caused by the inclement weather. According to officials, most of the community didn’t even realize this occurred because of the cooperation of multiple service departments for the area and their willingness to work together.

Downing explained that the city water department was of great help to the fire department by providing water to be shuttled to the scenes in need.

“Everyone involved, the water department, police department, fire department, etc., worked really well together in solving the problem and getting things where they needed to be,” said Downing. “I think it’s amazing that all of these different departments were able to work together so well to resolve the problems and did it with such urgency that the rest of the public didn’t even notice there was an issue. That just goes to show how great our community really is.”

Downing also addressed the public about certain precautions that can be taken in the future.

“I would like to caution the public about heating their homes safely, don’t smoke inside the house, discard smoking materials appropriately, and make sure you keep combustible items at least a three foot distance away from any heaters you are using in your home,” he said.

Downing added that the fire department is extremely happy to be able to serve its community and hopes that everyone has a wonderful and safe start to the new year.

Downing: City depts. worked together during extreme weather

By Abby Shrout

[email protected]