East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – It’s hard to hold a fire hose when you can’t bend your fingers. East Stroudsburg Assistant Fire Chief Billy Miller said, "It's real extreme. It's almost like being in the middle of Antarctica."
It’s tough to climb a ladder when your pants are frozen solid. East Stroudsburg 2nd Assistant Fire Chief Joe Totero remarked, "The hazards are just really extreme with the added cold temperatures and the wind."
The East Stroudsburg volunteer fire department rushed to a house just off of King Street Tuesday afternoon."When we arrived on scene there was quite a bit of fire and smoke to the rear unit,” said Miller.
As volunteers doused the flames, wind sprayed water back at them. Totero said, "Everything starts to freeze real quick. Anything wet, gear, the fire scene itself, and you just go sliding all over the place."
Firefighters store a product called Speedy Dry in their trucks. They usually use it to soak up oil spills. Tuesday, they spread it on the ice. Miller noted, "We end up taking a lot of the speedy dry and spreading that around because it's gritty and it has something where the guys can actually get a foothold with the ice."
The Salvation Army sent a service truck to help the volunteers get warm. Dave Morton volunteer in the truck. He said, "We're feeding them we're giving them hot drinks, like soup and stuff to eat."
All of the volunteers said though it’s tough sometimes, they love making a difference in their community. "Cold or hot, no matter what, I love doing it,” said Totero.