The Owasso Fire and Police departments responded to several incidents amid the days-long winter weather event last week.
Between Feb. 7 and Feb. 18, emergency crews responded to 41 traffic-related calls — seven injurious and 34 non-injurious — with the majority of vehicle accidents occurring on the first day of the storm front, records show.
Likewise, Owasso FD logged 171 EMS calls during that same time period, with record low temperatures leading to an extended period of ice buildup that caused various problems for citizens, fire Chief David Hurst said.
“As the event continued, we began to see an increase in the number of calls for falls on the ice, with minor to more serious injuries,” Hurst said, “along with an increase in the number of other medical calls … but indirectly due to residences unable transport themselves due to the weather.”
OFD did not report any rescues in ponds, creeks or streams, and did not receive any calls of hypothermic exposures. It did, however, address 23 busted waterlines and fire sprinklers during the 11-day timeframe, which occurred at different churches and commercial properties.
“Our firefighters have been busy, trying to minimize the water damage to the buildings, until repairs can be made,” Hurst said. “We were well supplied and prepared for the event, and only experienced minor issues as you would expect working in conditions with ice, snow and frigid temperature.”
Owasso police officers were also well equipped to respond to the inclement weather, utilizing new equipment and strategies to combat the challenging elements and help keep the community safe.
, said Deputy Chief Jason Woodruff.
“Fortunately, we’ve made an effort in recent years to incorporate several 4x4 vehicles into the OPD fleet,” Woodruff said. “We also assign two officers per vehicle, instead of our traditional solo patrol, to ensure that every officer has a backer when responding to calls.”
Woodruff added that despite the record event, both Owasso police and fire crews worked together to keep patrols operating and responsive to residents in need.
“There are always challenges, but we didn’t run into anything that couldn’t be overcome,” Woodruff said. “We appreciate the diligence of the other city workers, like the fire department, water department and street crews, for all their hard work during this event, and we appreciate the patience from the community as we all worked to keep Owasso’s residents and visitors safe.”