Relatively quiet blizzard for area first responders, so far

Published on February 13, 2017

A blizzard whipped across Nova Scotia on Feb. 13, causing delays and cancellations across the province.

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HANTSPORT, N.S. - With up to 60 centimetres expected to fall, schools cancelled and offices closed, many are taking it easy inside - not so much for first responders.

Paul Maynard, deputy fire chief with the Hantsport Fire Department said they’ve only had one medical call so far, but are ready for more if the need arises.

“We’re fortunate in that we haven’t had anything too significant so far,” Maynard said around 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. “Most of our members live near the fire station, and many of them are here on a voluntary basis in case a call does come in.”

They received a medical call in Vaughan at approximately 10 a.m. and assisted EHS with patient care.

“I suspect that may happen on many calls today,” he said. “Any one of the agencies responding will probably need a little help from the others.”

Maynard said first responders, such as the fire departments, coordinate with Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to plow roads that emergency vehicles need to access.

“We can get to the residence, a lot of the challenge is just extricating people out of homes and that sort of thing, so we need a lot of hands,” he said. “We wouldn’t dare take an ambulance up a driveway, especially if it’s drifted in.”

Maynard said one of the calls they’ve dealt with during past blizzards is rescuing people out in the weather who probably shouldn't be - he’s hoping not to deal with that this time.

“Some of the main roads aren’t too bad at this point, but most of the secondary roads are basically impassable right now,” he said. “My advice? Stay home where it’s comfortable and weather it out.”

If there are power outages, Maynard said people should be cautious when using candles and secondary heating devices.

Maynard is also the alternate EMO coordinator for West Hants and the Town of Windsor.