Spokane workers brave bitter cold

Spokane workers brave bitter cold

SPOKANE, Wash. - The arctic blast gripping the Inland Northwest isn't on its way out yet, and as temperatures dip into the single digits yet again Thursday night, not everyone gets to escape the freezing cold when they show up to work.

At Frank's Towing, a busy day can usually be expected when temperatures are this cold. As cars struggle to get their battery running, employees like Robert Cahill must answer the call. "Usually to jump start most of the time," Cahill said. "I haven't had too many this year, but that and getting stuck in the snow banks."

He says the freezing temperatures aren't as much trouble as the first snow of the year.

"Most of the calls are in the first day of the snow, until they get the roads plowed. That's when we're really the most busiest," he said.

But the sub-zero chill leaving employees struggling with ways to stay warm. Cahill, with a laugh, said he just tries to stay in his truck as much as possible.

First responders must also battle the frigid freeze to keep our community safe.

"It affects the equipment that we use, from the hand tools that we're using, when they get wet, when your gloves are wet, you grab a hold of those, they're hard to hold on to, or they stick to you," said Randy Johnson, Spokane Fire District 4 Fire Chief.

But, at Cat Tales in North Spokane, they're singing a different tune.

"Depending on how much snow we get, they fur up, and get dense and long fur accurately, so they're pretty good," said manager Tyler Cote.

Employees say while the jungle cats naturally prepare for winter, they still work each day to make sure the animals are comfortable.

"We make sure all their den boxes are full of lots of straw to make it as comfortable as possible for them. And they also have heating pads to keep them warm," Cote said.

The Spokane Regional Health District says in these temperatures, humans should spend as little time outside as possible. But, if you do have to work outside, wear layers to protect any exposed skin. It also says to hydrate like you would on a normal work day.