The Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad is on their "winter storm plans" Thursday, as they prepare for ice and treacherous conditions coming to East Tennessee.
"We're getting personnel ready to staff our trucks as far as support, I'm getting cots ready," said Lt. Kermit Wiggins with the rescue squad.
The East Knoxville station is prepared to house up to two dozen volunteer members of their unit Thursday night. That's all part of their emergency ice storm plans by having extra staffers come in to help, while keeping emergency vehicles in some of key places in the county so that travel is minimal. Four vehicles are loaded with special equipment and will cover all four areas of Knox County.
"We have stabilization, extrication, medical supplies and the most important, with the ice: we have a lot of chainsaws so we can take care of the trees later on," said Capt. Jeff Petress.
These trucks will have both medical and rescue personnel on all vehicles during the day Friday, so they don't use extra vehicles on the icy roads.
"They're coming to us for 24 hours, some are on a 12-hour commitment," Capt. Petress added. "It could last into Saturday morning."
All the while, these efforts are for free because they're on the volunteer squad. That's just fine with Lt. Wiggins.
"We're ready for the 'major.' Anything major happens. We're ready for it," he said.