Gwinnett County firefighters saw a dramatic uptick in calls about frozen water pipes during this week's frigid temperatures.
On the coldest day, Tuesday, firefighters responded to nearly 400 calls; more than a third of those were water-related.
“Ordinarily people will call the fire department for most anything so we try to service them when we can and, in situations like this, we put extra people in service to try to take care of these type calls,” says Lt. Scott Davis.
He and Driver Engineer Chris Bilik were brought into special duty from the fire academy to help answer water-related calls.
“The other trucks can stay in service for their emergency responses while we can take care of this for the people,” David tells WSB.
He says among the first jobs they perform is shutting off the water and any other utilities that could cause a safety hazard. In some cases, they actually help the homeowner or business mitigate damage by moving furniture and other items.
Gary Goble works at Georgia Self Storage which saw an exterior pipe in its sprinkler system burst. That prompted an alarm to the fire department.
“They are the experts; they know what to do and how to isolate things and we need their help,” he says.
Davis expects the calls will continue to come into the department at least through Thursday as temperatures rise and those all those cracked frozen pipes begin to thaw.