Sometimes saying ‘thank you’ just doesn’t seem good enough
Historically low temperatures and a combination of snow and ice have taken over this area of the nation and turned green country into a white nightmare.
When you check the forecast and you get excited when you see the future temperatures have more than one number, then yes, that means it is cold.
Throw in snow, ice, and a nasty north wind into that mix, you don’t have a winter wonderland, you have a white nightmare.
It’s easy for anyone to get upset at the current weather situation. For most of us, this weather forces us to have to work from home or keep the kids entertained since school is canceled.
It’s not a typical winter storm where you can take the family to the nearest hill for some sledding fun or go out to the front yard and make a snow man. No, it is just too cold to be outside at all.
However, before we get all bummed out and become frustrated because we can’t go eat at our favorite restaurant or go for a jog in the park, perhaps we should instead be thankful that we don’t have to do the job our first responders have to do.
These men and women don’t have the choice to work from home because it is their job to respond to emergencies on the road and at homes and their job to try and get the streets cleared enough to where people can navigate these horrid conditions.
I was sitting at home Tuesday evening watching the Jenks city council meeting on my computer and during the city manager’s report, Chris Shrout had members of each of Jenks’ first responder teams give updates.
Jenks Fire Chief Greg Ostrum said his crews are keeping up with calls and running mandatory overtime hours. Each crew is running 48 hours on and 24 hours off.
“We are running probably three times our normal call volume during the course of this event. The calls have mainly been for broken water lines in homes or for falls on slippery surfaces and things like that.”
Director of Public Works Tim Doyle said his crews are doing all they can to try and keep up with the snow and ice. They have had various equipment issues, such as a snowplow that is down, which limits them to just two that are cleared for use.
“We are holding our own overall with the conditions. We were able to get our road grater fired up, so we can use as necessary. We also have several sand trucks we are operating with, so we are just ready to get after the next storm. Staffing wise, we have six field staff members available during the day along with a mechanic and a person in the office and we have more staff available in the night. When we had the opportunity to give the guys a break and a little more rest, we have done that a couple times by temporarily stopping the 24-hour operations, but we are back on the 24-hour operations and we will continue with that until we get these streets to where they are passable. With the freezing temperatures, we are responding to a lot of frozen water line and frozen water meter issues, so that is pulling a couple of field staff, which is a little different from most events, but they are doing a good job. We keep stressing safety with the windchill conditions with the cold temperatures. We only want them to be out in the 15-30-minute range and pay attention, so we don’t get any frost bite issues.”
Jenks Police Major Jason Jackson said they are handling a lot of traffic issues and house calls during this event.
“Our officers are running mostly on motorist assists and welfare check. We have had quite a few people ask us to go check on their loved ones because some cell and phone services are down. In between snowstorms, we are handling calls in the mornings and evenings, we have a lot of motorist assists and traffic accidents.”
As I sit here writing this editorial, I just want to say thank you to all the first responders in Jenks and the entire Tulsa area who have battled the bitter cold, snow, ice, and wind to make it possible for the rest of us to live our lives.
Every city council member and the mayor were very thankful as well during Tuesday’s meeting.
I know it is good to be thankful and good to say thank you, but to be honest, sometimes saying “thank you” just doesn’t seem good enough.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the Jenks Tribune.