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Oneida Co. emergency responders, snowplow drivers work through first heavy snowfall of the season Submitted: 12/13/2017
Story By Allie Herrera

Oneida Co. emergency responders, snowplow drivers work through first heavy snowfall of the season
RHINELANDER - Most people across the Northwoods woke up to several inches of snow on the ground Wednesday. It's a sight many have been waiting for since the start of the season.

But sometimes those snow covered roads make it hard for people to get their jobs done.


"Just because it's snowing out doesn't stop medical emergencies or fires," said Rhinelander Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Merrill. 

Merrill knows road conditions aren't his only worry when it snows. 
 
"A cot doesn't do really well going through the snow so it can be kind of a hassle to get it into some people's houses and down the sidewalks," said Merrill. 

The cot and additional equipment can weigh as much as 150 pounds without a patient on it. Merrill says sometimes because of the snow, it feels like they're dragging the cot through sand. 

"It's just trying to keep it steady and upright with the patient because you don't want the cot tipping over especially with someone on it," said Merrill. 

People like Lance Johns also have to drive regardless of road conditions. 

"I was in at 3:30 this morning and it was snowing then," said Johns, a snowplow driver with the Oneida County Highway Department. 

It's Johns' job to make sure the roads are clear for others to drive on. Even with more than 40 years of experience, Johns says weather is hard to compete with. 

"We're going to go at it all day long and it's probably going to look just as bad when we're done as when we started," said Johns. 

"They can come through, plow it clean and [in] two and a half hours they're back at it on the same piece of road and there will be a couple of inches of snow," said Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek.


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