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First responders advise caution amid winter freeze

Towing officials in NWA say that unsafe driving around accidents has been a constant issue for tow truck drivers.

ARKANSAS, USA — With many traveling through the winter weather, first responders and towing companies are asking drivers to be extra cautious.

Shane Andreasen with Roadside Services Towing of NWA says they receive an average of 300 to 500 calls daily. The towing company is a contractor for AAA emergency services. He explained that unsafe driving around accidents has been a constant issue for tow truck drivers.

"You're driving over my equipment that I'm trying to use to clear up an accident. You wouldn't run over a fireman's water hose, would you? A little consideration is what we're asking for. I've got a family—I want to go home," said Andreasen. "Some of our new guys quit over it. They get out there a couple of times and hey man, cars aren't slowing down. They're not moving over. No, they don't. And [they say] 'I don't want to do this, you know, I'm gonna get killed.'"

While towing companies and first responders try to be on the scene as quickly as possible, they're still proceeding with caution. Central EMS is going as far as turning off lights and sirens when responding to calls to prevent people from overreacting and sliding off the road.

"The trucks just don't have the same traction on the ice and snow as we do on a normal day. So we need to drive safer. But also, the lights and sirens make people do silly things and ice and snow. So we may be putting other people at risk," said Jordan Prevenas with Central EMS.

"If you'll slow down, you cause the next 50 cars behind you to do the same thing involuntarily. That it's a big help. Because once everybody slows down, they want to know why. And they start looking, they start paying attention," said Andreasen.

Both first responders and towing companies are asking anyone who can stay home to do so. If you must travel, Central EMS said don't hesitate to call 911 if in an emergency.

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