MFD Responds To Over 120 Storm-Related Calls, Issues Reminder About Confronting Floods
The Madison Fire Department responded to 122 emergency calls between 6:00-11:00 p.m. last night, most stemming from severe storms.
Every MFD company and ambulance was assigned to a rolling queue of emergencies throughout the evening. They responded to calls for power lines down, electrical hazards or small fires caused by tree branches tangled on power lines, and several stranded vehicles with distressed passengers. At least three houses reported being struck by trees, in some cases creating water leaks and/or possible structural damage. There was one structure fire resulting from a lightning strike on Midvale Blvd.
While responding to these calls, two MFD vehicles were disabled due to the high waters they encountered while responding to an emergency (see video taken by Engine 7 on Prairie Road). Engine Company 9 quickly returned to service thanks to the availability of a reserve Engine. Engine Company 7 began utilizing the Hazardous Incident vehicle in lieu of their Engine truck. Eight off-duty personnel were hired, and all available Command Staff joined the response efforts to help the Fire Department keep up with call demand.
Last night’s events served as a reminder of the importance of staying in a safe place during severe weather events. First responders met several motorists who were adamant about getting to their destination despite the imminent dangers before them. Seeking alternate routes or refraining from travel altogether, though inconvenient, can significantly reduce the chance of becoming stranded or hurt.
Flooded roads, live electrical wires, and fallen trees are all imminent hazards that must be avoided until first responders can restore safety to a scene. When motorists elect to enter these unsafe conditions, they are likely to compound the hazards, cause personal harm, and further tax emergency resources.