Weatherford Democrat

Local News

December 10, 2013

Ice storm results in nearly 200 EMS calls locally

By SALLY SEXTON

With streets and roadways covered in ice over the weekend, drivers weren’t the only ones affected by the slick conditions.

The Parker County Hospital District’s EMS service, LifeCare, reported numerous incidents of people injured, some seriously, by the weather from last week through Monday.

“Between Thursday at 6 p.m. to noon of (today), we’ve had 194 requests for service,” LifeCare director Paul Smith said. “And of that number, 75 were directly related to icy conditions.

“A lot of falls, suspected fractures, automobile accidents, hips, arms and legs.”

While Smith said the number of requests is drastically higher than normal, services and workers have “pretty much caught up.”

“We’ll start our clean-up process [Wednesday] morning, getting the vehicles cleared off and such,” he said.

Firefighters were also stretched thin over the weekend, particularly on Saturday, according to ESD No. 1 Chief Eric Vinson.

Roadways were very slick, making it difficult to navigate very well and causing a delayed response, he said, adding that fire departments’ primary difficulty was drivers who were unable or unwilling to stay off the roads.

In addition to assisting with motorists who got stuck, firefighters also assisted LifeCare with several calls when ambulances got stuck, Vinson said.

The number of calls handled by emergency services over the weekend was such that normal mutual aid for incidents was not available and firefighters did not have the luxury of being able to call for resources, Vinson said.

“We did a lot of work that we don’t normally do but, in my opinion, that’s part of our job,” Vinson said.

Conditions continued to improve through Tuesday afternoon and only one fatality due to ice was reported over the weekend after a driver lost control of an ATV on an icy roadway, according to Parker County deputies’ preliminary reports.

A fatality also took place early Tuesday morning near Cresson on U.S. Highway 377 when tractor-trailer rig struck a car that was disabled and out of gas, causing the rig to roll off the highway, killing the truck driver.

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