The winter weather for most people marks the time of the year that brings the holidays, skiing, slick roads, and a chance to hurl a snowball at a loved one or pesky neighbor. As a firefighter the upcoming winter provides a separate set of challenges that must be recognized to ensure the equipment and personnel responsible for protecting the community are safe. Historical evidence has shown the firefighting community that extended fire calls are more likely to occur during periods of severe cold. This result comes from the public utilizing approved and unapproved heating sources to combat the cold in their homes. The colder it gets the greater the probability that our personnel will become involved in a prolonged operation where saving life and property is necessary. It’s important to remember that the time to plan for winter firefighting operations begins long before the snowflakes start to fall. The following questions can be used to measure how prepared you are for the onset of colder temperatures: What has your fire department done to prepare your apparatus and personnel for winter? What has your fire department done to prepare experienced operators for winter driving?