Fire officials remind residents to keep driveways clear

CALCUTTA – Two recent incidents during heavy snowfall prompted local fire officials to issue a warning to residents to keep their driveways clear.

Calcutta Fire Department’s assistant Chief Dave McCoy said Wednesday that emergency personnel have responded to two incidents involving residents having health issues that were aggravated by snow-filled driveways.

On Wednesday, the department responded to a call of a man having heart attack-like symptoms, and McCoy said, “With all the snow, there was no way the ambulance (or fire department vehicles) could get up the driveway.”

McCoy and Captain Marty Pike used their own four-wheel-drive pickup trucks to transport paramedics up the driveway to reach the victim, who was then transported back to a waiting ambulance in McCoy’s truck.

“We had the same thing last week,” McCoy said.

Not only medical issues but fire calls could be hampered by such driveways, McCoy emphasized, pointing out, “By the time we could pull hoses by hand down a driveway, the house could burn down.”

He issued the reminder, “If you can’t get in or out, neither can fire trucks, fire responders or emergency vehicles. Invest in a tractor or plowing or gravel. We would hate to see someone die because we can’t get to them.”

Also on Wednesday, firefighters from Calcutta, Glenmoor and Liverpool Township responded to the Sheetz gas station at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and state Route 170 in Calcutta for what was initially reported as a structure fire.

Police at the scene said employees had smelled a burning odor and thought they saw a slight “sheen” in the air.

McCoy said nothing was found inside the store but that employees were being cautious due to a fire that caused damage to the business in the past.

Also responding were several ambulances and St. Clair Township police officers.