Emergency Response During Winter Storms

emergency responseLYNDONVILLE- The recent bad weather showed how dangerous roads can be both during and after a storm. Between Tuesday and Wednesday the Lyndonville area saw nearly 9 inches of snow hit the ground. Because of the bad weather, emergency personnel responded to several accidents within a short time frame.


"We actually have to prioritize the calls," said Chief Jack Harris, of the Lyndonville Police Department. "If we get several accidents at a time and one is a minor accident, it may take us hours or even a day to get back to them."

Calls get prioritized depending on how serious the accident is as well as how it effects traffic.

"If it is just a slide off no injuries no fluid leakage then that's going to fall to the bottom of the list," said Lieutenant Patrick McLaughlin, of the Lyndonville Fire Department. "But if we have got an overturned vehicle with entrapment, that's definitely going to take priority in our house."

There is only 3 people in the Lyndonville Police Department which means there is only one person per shift.

"Luckily the two guys I have working for me are kind of on call at all times," said Harris. "So in a situation lie that storm I do have the opportunity to call someone in if needed."

"The state police have a big area to cover, and not that we can't count on them but we can't rely on them to always be here because we they could be off covering their own calls," said Harris.

When the roads are bad, emergency personnel use caution to get to accidents.

"If we try to expedite to get there either we can slide off the road, or lights and sirens could cause someone else to slide off the road," said Harris. "Sometimes there are instances where we don't even run the red lights because that's going to cause more of a distraction for other drivers," said McLaughlin.

If you have to go out during a storm, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to brake.

"In the winter time you need that extra distance to be able to stop," said McLaughlin.

Both Lieutenant McLaughlin and Chief Harris say it is important to have snow tires on at this point in the season.

Winter Emergency Response from NewsLINC on Vimeo.

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