After 40 vehicle crash on highway 51; fire department prepares for snowy road conditions

Fire department give tips on staying safe in poor road conditions, after 40 vehicle incident...
Fire department give tips on staying safe in poor road conditions, after 40 vehicle incident on highway 51.(wsaw)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 7:09 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Only a few inches of snow was enough to cause a pile-up on highway 51 on Friday. Of the 40 vehicles involved, 10 people were hurt. Wausau Fire Department’s Deputy Chief said keeping a large incident under control is challenging enough, adding the snowy conditions only makes it more difficult.

“It’s a very complicated situation in those big wrecks, but it’s also a very scientific approach that we take to make sure that we clear it properly and do things as safe as possible,” said Chief Deputy Jeremy Kopps.

Kopps said they consider where the incident is, who is going to respond, and what station is closest. They have to do it all fast. Sometimes staff has to respond to more than one incident at once. When they get an incident under control they can then decide if it’s okay to send responders to other incidents.

“We’ll have to split our resources up in some cases and call in for other help,” said Deputy Chief Kopps.

Deputy Chief Kopps said the poor road conditions only add to the pressure on their already stretched thin staff. You can help out emergency responders by avoiding driving when there are bad conditions. If you do encounter an incident Deputy Chief Kopps said to pay close attention to the responder and their directions, not the scene.

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