Fire station will be staffed 24/7 through cold snap

Firefighters pour water onto the 300 block of Watson Street during the Dec. 11 fire.

Firefighters will be able to respond faster than ever to a problem through at least Tuesday morning.

"During the cold snap, staring today, we will be manning the fire station 24 hours," Ripon Area Fire District chief Tim Saul said Sunday morning. "We're being proactive and we don't want to see our response times delayed because of the cold."

Extreme cold can lead to additional fires, he noted, as homeowners turn to additional heating methods to keep their residences toasty.

"I encourage people to watch using space heaters," Saul said.

Meanwhile, as the fire danger increases, the cold has the potential of slowing firefighters' response time if they are coming from home. Cold weather can sap a vehicle battery's strength, meaning during the coldest weather some cars might not start.

Saul doesn't want that to mean a slower response from the fire district.

"If we can get water on a fire 7 minutes or 8 minutes sooner than we normally would, maybe we can hold [a fire back]," he said. "Right now, we are going to do it through Tuesday at 6 a.m., and we may consider extending it through the day."

Four or five firefighters will be at the station, located off Aspen Street, at all times during that period.

"We're here if somebody needs something, and to better protect residents when they need us," Saul said. "If you need the fire department for nonemergency needs, call us at 745-2262."

In an emergency, call 911.

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