In Hot Springs Village many of us are transplants from Illinois, Minnesota, and other states which have snow and ice storms and frosty, nippy, and downright freezing weather.
Hot Springs Village had just hired a new General Manager, who started on Tuesday, February 1. His name is Kelly Hale. In the very first few days on the job, Mr. Hale was faced with guiding the Village through an icy/snowy mess. Ahead of the event, on Wednesday, February 2, the POA began keeping Villagers thoroughly informed prior to the freezing rain/snow that began on February 3. This frequent communication continued throughout the event in a detailed manner.
For those not familiar with the Village, please keep in mind, this kind of storm is not common. In other words, dealing with it is more difficult for our staff and first responders than it is for those in areas where this is a frequent occurrence.
Cold weather states have massive resources for dealing with this type of event. They have the equipment, staff and, adequate supplies and use these assets many times, every year. They have the salt – a lot of it. And most importantly, they have the equipment and staff with the capability of conquering anything mother nature bestows in a winter storm. It is what they are good at; it is what their budgets plan for, and it is what happens in the cold areas.
In the south, weather like this is not as likely, so we do not have the supplies or equipment as do our northern friends. Keeping large amounts of inclement weather equipment on hand in the Village would be very expensive. We do naturally have more limited resources than a state like Michigan might have. Nonetheless, Hot Springs Village POA, Police, and Fire Department dealt with this situation in an exemplary manner.
Let me share with you some of what our Parks and Recreation Division, Police Department, Fire Department, Streets, Sanitation, and Common Property Departments did both ahead of the event, during, and afterward. They all worked together as a coordinated team, each cog in the gear meshing perfectly.
HSV Parks and Recreation
The Outstanding Parks and Recreation Department Team took care of the entry drives, parking lots and shoveled off the walkways to the Coronado Community Center, Fitness Center, and the Ponce de Leon Center and Woodlands Auditorium. These were the facilities that were designated as warming areas in addition to the fire stations. In addition, Parks and Recreation staffed the buildings from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day with a representative in case someone needed assistance.
HSV Police Department
While most of us were trying to stay safe during this event, our courageous Hot Springs Village Police Officers were hard at work with rescues and calls. In just three short days time, February 3 through February 6, this is what the Hot Springs Village Police responded to:
- 42 public assist calls (motorist stranded, delivered medicine)
- 3 disturbances
- 1 traffic complaint ( truck blocking the road due to a flat tire)
- 2 medical assists
- 1– 911 hang-up
- 2- natural deaths
- 1 residential alarm
- 1 fraud complaint
- 1- missing person (later returned home)
- 9- suspicious circumstance calls
- 4- vehicle accidents
- 3- welfare checks
- 1-policy violation
- 1- noise complaint
Hot Springs Village Fire Department/EMS
Our brave Hot Springs Village Firefighters were also hard at work during this time period. The crews responded to:
- 5 Medical assists, assist EMS calls out of the Balboa station
From the Coronado firehouse, there were:
- 2 Medical assists, assist EMS crew
- 1 EMS call, excluding vehicle accident with injury
- 1 Gas leak
- 1 Toxic condition, other
The Cortez Station responded to
- 4 Medical assists, assist EMS crew calls
- 1 Public service call
Desoto Station appears to have had the most calls.
- 4 Medical assists, assist EMS crew
- 1 Motor vehicle accident with no injuries
- 2 Assist police or other governmental agency
- 1 Public service call
- 1 Call that was dispatched and canceled en route
- 1 Smoke detector activation due to malfunction
Public Services/Streets /Solid Waste/Common Property
And last, but absolutely not least, staff of our wonderful Streets, Solid Waste, and Common Property Divisions have worked loyally and diligently, some even serving the Villagers day and night.
- The crews have plowed an estimated 200 miles of Village roads.
- Staff have applied 200 tons (400,000 lbs) of sand, sanding approximately 320 miles of Village roads. The crews worked on sanding and plowing for 64 hours straight, non-stop.
- A thousand pounds of salt or ice melt have been applied.
- Additionally POA Staff has assisted emergency personnel 40 times with the sand spreader/plow trucks.
- In addition to doing all this, there have been zero injuries or accidents and zero loss of or damaged equipment.
- Staff has successfully completed all sanitation routes and pickups both Saturday and today (Monday’s route) also, without any injury or damage to equipment.
❤ Thank you! ❤
I don’t know about you, but after reading about all of these calls and work, my head is almost spinning. Thank you to all of our first responders, crews, staff, and everyone else who did such a phenomenal job to help keep our Village running and safe during this icy inclement weather event (and also every single day of the year). I know it is not always easy or pleasant working in frozen temperatures, but I think I am speaking for most Villagers when I say, your efforts are much appreciated. Also, thank you to those who provided us with these details. I apologize in advance if I overlooked anyone. If so, this was not intentional.
By Cheryl Dowden, February 8, 2022
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