GRAND FORKS — In an attempt to prevent damage to their vehicles, the Grand Forks Fire department is switching from their standard fire engines to special firefighting vehicles for use in cold weather.
"Severe cold has some severe negative effects on our equipment (and) specialized equipment on our engines," said Capt. Chuck Marcott of the Grand Forks Fire Department. Engines haul 500 gallons of water that can freeze quickly in arctic weather, he said.
"Those lines can freeze and break, causing unnecessary damage to those apparatus," Marcott explained.
Instead of standard engines you'll likely see the fire department use red and white SUVs. Department officials said those vehicles have four wheel drive and are better at getting around in bad road conditions.
If there is a fire or a serious medical emergency, the engines are still able to hit the road, but fire fighters may have to keep water flowing into storm drains to keep the trucks' lines from freezing.
Grand Forks firefighters ask the public to to look out for their alternate firefighting vehicles, which might not be as recognizable as the standard fire engines.
The department is also asking the public to work to remove the snow from around hydrants.