Heeding the warnings

Published 6:09 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

“Ok Folks, the weather is starting to deteriorate. This means that the road conditions are also. Please STAY HOME! While we enjoy seeing you we would prefer not seeing you tonight in this Cold Mess! Do our Firefighters a favor and let them stay home with their families!!”

It was a touch of humor in the Pinetown Volunteer Firefighters Facebook post on Wednesday evening. Alas, Pinetown firefighters didn’t get to stay home with their families that night. Instead, they were out in the frigid cold and snow fighting a fire on N.C. Highway 32 before and after midnight.

Humorous as it is, the person behind Pinetown’s Facebook post has a point. When people get in their vehicles and go riding around to see the sights in hazardous conditions, they are not only putting themselves in danger, but others, as well. For every car or truck skidding off the road and into a ditch, there are that many first responders who have to brave the same treacherous roads to get to the scene of an accident.

Before every such weather event, the warnings are issued again. Stay home. Stay off the roads. There’s a reason for that, and it’s called experience.

Before every such cold-weather blast, the warnings about using auxiliary heat are issued again. There’s a reason for that, too. And it’s also called experience. Wednesday night, a mobile home burned down due to a space heater being too close to flammable material.

Don’t ignore the warnings. They’re there for a reason. Do yourself and all the many first responders, paid and volunteer, a favor and heed the warnings.

Stay home and stay safe.