This early December snowstorm brought the first snow days of the school year to many towns across Connecticut. But, for the men and women who keep us safe, snow days aren’t an option.
We first brought you to Bristol’s Department of Public Works on Sunday, where Peter English was filling snow plows with salt mixture and preparing for the long days ahead.
”They’ll stay on until Tuesday morning and then work their regular shift the rest of that day,” Bristol Public Works Analyst, Lindsey Rivers, told FOX61 Sunday evening.
Two long days later and Peter is still on the roads.
“The adrenaline does help because if you’re bad and you’re not 100%, bad things can happen,” says English, a Bristol Public Works’ Street Maintenance Crew Leader.
State plow drivers have been out there, too.
“So they work 17 hour shifts behind the wheel of a plow truck,” says DOT Spokesperson, Kevin Nursick. “They get a three hour break and then its 17 hours again, 3 to 4 hours off after that and then 17 hours again, and they just keep repeating that cycle over and over and over again.”
While plow drivers work throughout the duration of the storm to make sure that your road stays plowed, at hospitals, it’s business as usual, which means people still work long hours.
“We are fully staffed no matter what the weather, yes,” says Dr. David Buono, the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Chief of Emergency Medicine. “Sometimes people have to sleep over, work a double shift; but, we’re always fully staffed and are the same staff no matter what.”
During the storm, emergency rooms see less people than usual. It’s during the cleanups where people come in with muscular back strains from shoveling, and hand injuries from snow blowers.
Ambulance companies who have no choice but to be on the go come with extra equipment to get the job done; while employees pack their bags.
“Most of us have learned you always pack an extra uniform, extra set of clothes, definitely toothbrush,” says Melissa Osborne, a training and quality improvement manager at Ambulance Service of Manchester.
Everyone we’ve talked to say they wouldn’t trade their job for anything. Some people even offer to work during snow storms because it poses new challenges.