LUBBOCK, Texas — Even after a week of snow and ice, Lubbock Fire Rescue is still reporting more calls than usual.
Lieutenant Phillip Grandon with LFR said it was one of the most severe weather events he has seen in his lifetime.
“We’ve never experienced a cold spell like this in a very long time, at least not in my lifetime,” Grandon said.
LFR and Emergency Medical Services responses were on the rise, not uncommon when snow and ice are present.
“Anytime there is severe weather — especially cold weather–it always increases our run numbers,” Grandon said.
The Lubbock Professional Firefighters Association reporting on the second day of snowfall, there were 316 LFR/EMS responses, on Tuesday there were 219, and on Wednesday there were 170.
“The numbers stayed pretty steady, even towards the end of the week,” Grandon said.
The reason the calls remained steady is due to pipes. As pipes continue to thaw, the now broken pipes begin to leak, with a majority occurring within commercial sprinkler systems.
“For pipe busts, the fire alarm senses it and it sends a commercial alert and the fire department responds because of the fire alarm,” Grandon said.
Lubbock Fire Rescue responded to a commercial alarm activation at the historic Cactus Theater on Friday.
LFR said on Friday evening, fire crews found a valve in the riser room had broken, causing a large water leak. The leak reportedly happened in the projector room on the second floor of the building. Lubbock Power and Light were called out to shut down the power in an effort to eliminate the risk of electrocution due to water surrounding the wires.
LFR crews were able to shut the water down.
Lubbock Fire Rescue also reported an increase in car wrecks and structure fires.
“[A lot of it is] due to people being without electricity and using alternate heating methods trying to keep their pipes up,” Grandon said.
LFR said they expect to see an increase in calls during big weather events, so they make sure to have more folks working on those days.