Icy risks: Okolona emergency responders share safety insights

OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) – In downtown Okolona, icy roads pose challenges for emergency responders. As they navigate through these dangerous conditions, the fire chief and the assistant police chief share insights on the risks they face and the precautions we all can take.

Emergency services, including firefighters, already navigate through aggressive and inattentive drivers. Now, reaching emergencies becomes even trickier with icy roads.

Okolona Fire Chief, Marquon Evans, highlighted the risks of driving a 20-ton fire truck on icy roads for emergency calls.

“Somebody might get really hurt if we start sliding. We try to make sure nobody gets slid into,” said Evans.

Evans emphasized that his firefighters follow essential practices: Drive slow, be cautious, and be aware of our surroundings.

Abusing 911 dispatch not only ties up emergency services but also poses unnecessary risks. Evans urged people to dial 911 only for true emergencies.

“Unless it’s your house on fire, cardiac arrest, CPR, difficulty breathing. You know, if you’ve got a sore throat or earache or something like that just go to your nearest Urgent Care Clinic,” said Evans.

Sherry Hardin, Assistant Police Chief for the Okolona Police Department, advised drivers to move to the side when they see blue lights.

“If you see us en route, with our lights on, whether it’s the police department, the fire department, or any emergency vehicle, slow down and get off the streets and roads so we can respond to our calls,” said Hardin.

Regardless of your mode of transportation, Hardin stressed that a trip around the block is not worth risking your life.

“Do not take chances for yourself or anybody else. If it’s not an emergency, stay off the streets. Whether it’s cars or four-wheelers, it doesn’t matter. It’s just an accident waiting to happen,” said Hardin.

Be sure to have blankets or other things to keep you warm in your car in case you are in an accident and have to wait in frigid temperatures for emergency services to arrive.

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