Police and Fire Department prepare for severe weather

(Memphis) It may be hard to think of severe weather when the sun is shining, but changes can happen quickly and emergency crews like firefighters have to be ready quickly.

Fire crews know what storms can  bring.

“In the past we have seen a number of situations, life threatening situations. We’ve seen homes demolished, fire from the lightning,” says Lt. Wayne Cook with the Memphis Fire Department.

Two weeks ago, a quick storm sparked a transformer and gas line fire in South Memphis.

Fire crews moved in putting out the blazes.

They monitor the  weather and say they will be ready this time too.

“We train and prepare everyday on the job for emergency situations of all kinds,” says Cook.

Some people say they didn’t see police out  helping with traffic after traffic lights went on the blink in the last storm.

Police told us  crews were busy handling crime  and  too short-staffed to help with traffic.

We asked about their plans this time.

” At this time we haven’t made any arrangements to call officers in off of duty to start working. What we will do if it is necessary is hold officers over to work another shift in order to be able to handle the call load,” said Karen Rudolph  with the Memphis Police Department.

She says dispatchers let officers know about changing weather.

Rudolph told us they have to prioritize calls, “Officers have to handle all the calls that come through. We can’t stop handling other incidents because someone has a crash. But we do work together. We pull officers from other precincts if we have to, to assist.”

Police say you can assist by staying off the roads during the storm and having a plan in place before the storm hits.

Police say they have four different levels of emergencies.

The highest is Level Four, where all officers are called in to duty, but they say that rarely happens.

The last time it came close was during last year’s severe floods.


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