SPRINGFIELD/HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- On top of the DPW and plows tackling the snowy roads, first responders are also out there answering any calls and responding to emergencies.

Sun, rain, snow, sleet, whatever the weather conditions it may be first responders are always out in them.

In less than 48 hours, western Mass has been hit with anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of snow, causing schools to close and people to take it slow on the roads.

Rock Thibeault, who works for Holyoke's action ambulance said in a job where every minute, every second count, you find yourself working extra hard during these snowy conditions.

"Snow always compounds things, slows things down, slows our travel, our routes of response. We try to compensate that by adding trucks and the tools needed to our crews to get to patients and get them safely to a hospital," Thibeault explained.

Thibeault told Western Mass News they are also faced with challenges in the snow.

"We are encountered with some streets that are very difficult to pass through. At those times we'll typically have crews make a game-time decision, can you make it down the street, go ahead. If you feel like you might not, don't even try it. Park where you can, walk to the patient and carry them to the ambulance, and utilize the fire department for help," Thibeault explained.

Early Tuesday morning the Springfield Fire Department was called to a large house fire.

Commissioner B.J. Calvi explained that they had seven trucks on the scene, rotated crews and brought in their rehab bus to try and keep everyone safe and warm.

"There was a lot of snow coming down at 1:30 this morning. I would say we were getting at least an inch an hour at that point. The streets were slippery, the sidewalks are slippery. All this snow became slush so we had about a foot of slush in the street at one point this morning. So it was tough getting around. It was tough on the crews, but everyone did a good job," Commissioner Calvi said.

Action ambulance is reminding everyone that when you see an emergency vehicle driving or stopped along the roads, always slow down, give them space, and move over safely.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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