“It was a busy couple of days for us,” recalled Langley Township deputy fire chief Russ Jenkins, who, along with the rest of the fire department, braved bursts of snow and harsh winds last week to help stranded motorists on Highway 1 near 264th Street.
And it wasn’t the nature of the calls that astounded fire crews members during the extreme weather conditions, it was their quantity.
“We were getting multiple calls coming in at once,” Jenkins expounded.
One of the first days it snowed heavily, on Thursday, Jenkins recalls 20 of the Township’s 23 apparatus out on different calls throughout Langley.
Four of those were on the freeway.
“And it was difficult to get to motorists on the highway,” he said, due to precarious road conditions.
But injuries the firefighters witnessed were not as serious as typical Highway 1 crashes, Jenkins explained.
Most were single vehicles that had spun off the road and into the ditch.
Later in the week, when Township firefighters responded to motor vehicle accidents on Highway 1 – while sections of the road between Chilliwack and Abbotsford were closed off – the road was sparsely populated, if at all, Jenkins noted.
Luckily, none of the Township’s firefighters were seriously injured, but many battled sheer exhaustion after hours of responding to repeated calls for service in the freezing cold.