Even with the warnings to stay out of the cold, some people have no choice. Firefighters still have to answer calls when temps drop to dangerous levels.
The Onalaska Fire Department says hypothermia is a big risk at times like these and they have their firefighters wear extra layers. Slipping is also a problem because they work with water. And they have to defrost their ladders before they can be folded up and put away.
Another big challenge is getting the equipment back in use after a fire. "It's not as easy as in the summer where it can just be rinsed off, the gross or the more product of the fire that's stuck to the equipment washes off, by the time it gets put back on the truck, it's frozen to it, so when we bring it back into the station it has to be brought off, it has to be thawed, then it has to be cleaned so those are extra steps," said Onalaska Fire Chief Don Dominick.
The department always has medical stations at the scene in case their firefighters need to be treated.