With Winter in full swing, it is a good time to remind everyone why we should take heed of the weather person's advice. The weatherman’s perspective is to keep you safe from the impending weather. From the first responders perspective, it is to help maintain a level of order.

People sometimes fail to realize when they choose to venture out and see what is going on, they put themselves in danger of becoming a victim of the elements. We understand the curiosity with such things that are not seen around here very often; snow, tornadoes, etc. But when you place yourself or your family in a situation that could have been avoided and something goes wrong, and then call 911 for help, you put first responders in the possible position of having to leave one emergency to respond to another.

In February of 2010, we received an unusual amount of snow for this area in a short period of time, and we responded to over 300 accidents countywide within 24-36 hours. We normally respond to about 130 accidents per month, but the driving conditions were different during this time. Many of these accidents could have been avoided by staying home for the evening.

Another safety concern arises when motorists want to view a tornado or a “front” blowing in. Please do not stop on the side of the road. Stopping along the roadway for this sole purpose is against the law and more important is the danger you bring upon yourself and other motorists.

Get to a safe, legal place, out of the way of the storm and other vehicles before taking the pictures you want.

Please remember when weather personnel warns us to seek shelter, stay inside or go to a place where you will not become a victim of the elements please heed there warning. As always, stay safe!