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February 9, 2013

Taking no chances

Police, fire, hospitals, utilities add staff, equipment to respond to blizzard

(Continued)

Patriot Ambulance is also ready, said manager Dawn McInnes, with an extra truck in service bringing the total to between 8 and 10 ambulances.

She said they also have extra places to sleep for their workers.

“We basically hunker down and just hope people stay inside,” McInnes said. “We have to prepare for the worst, but with power outages comes more issues.”

In Haverhill , Police Capt. Kim Parolisi said the department has added extra manpower to keep pace with any emergencies that may arise.

“We have extra bodies assigned,” he said. In addition, the department is ready with 4-wheel drive vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and emergency generators in case of power outages.

In case of multiple emergencies, he said, police and fire will have to prioritize.

“It’s triage in any emergency situation,” he said. “If the phones are lighting up and we have the ambulance going here, there and everywhere, we have to rack, stack and prioritize. But we are here to make sure emergency services are provided.”

He added, “I doubt we’re going to have another Blizzard of ‘78, but we have to make sure we have the manpower and equipment we need in case anything happens.”

Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said he was bringing in between three and five additional heavy plows last night to help clear city streets. He said that during the winter of 2010/2011, on some side streets, some of the trucks weren’t big enough to push back the snow far enough. The additional plows were to be deployed in five areas of the city.

Haverhill’s Water Department workers fueled up equipment and ensured emergency generators were ready to go in case power to the water treatment plant and pumping stations went out. Those are high on our priority list, said Robert Ward, the city’s director of water and wastewater.

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