Friday, 18 January 2013

Stay safe in the snow and ice

As snow moves across the county, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has a number of proactive measures to ensure that we continue to respond to any type of emergency.

Service contingency plans include snow chains for large fire appliances and snow socks for smaller service vehicles, along with the use of 4 x 4 vehicles, to ensure firefighters and operational officers can attend incidents even in the most remote of situations.

Mark Rist, Head of Operational Planning and Policy, said: “East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service works closely with other partner agencies through the Sussex Resilience Forum.

“We have extremely effective contingency plans for adverse weather conditions and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will use our operational capacity to ensure the safety of our community and support other emergency services as required.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind drivers that when driving in snow and ice you will need to change the way you drive. Your vehicle will not start, stop or steer in the same way it usually does. Stopping distances are greatly increased in icy conditions, so slow down and keep a bigger distance between you and the vehicle in front. Brake or accelerate carefully and gradually, and take corners very slowly.

If you’re planning a long journey – or if the snow really starts to settle – make sure that you check the weather forecast before you set out. The Met Office carries regularly updated feeds showing likely weather conditions, as well as any warnings. 

It is also advisable to carry an emergency pack in your boot - a first aid kit, torch, blanket, food and drink, a tow rope and shovel could all come in useful if you do find yourself getting stuck. Also make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone and water proof shoes.

Cyclists and pedestrians also need to ensure that they can be seen by other road users – wear something bright, cross the road at designated crossing points and, for cyclists, ride where you can be seen.

As it is unclear how long the cold weather is going to last we would remind people to check on their more vulnerable neighbours to ensure they are safe and warm

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