‘We have a duty to come to protect people’: Dangerous winter conditions led to busy week for San Antonio first responders

SAPD: There were 5 weather-related traffic deaths

SAN ANTONIO – Last week’s devastating winter storm created dangerous conditions for the Alamo City.

The San Antonio Fire Department and the San Antonio Police Department handled thousands of weather related calls, all of which made for a very busy time.

According to SAFD, they responded to a total of 9,199 total incidents between Feb. 14 thru Feb. 19. Some of the calls include:

  • 3,991 EMS responses
  • 295 oxygen refill responses
  • 130 structure fire incidents

The fire department also assisted with the mass transfer of hospital patients.

The police department handled a tracked 1,454 crash calls for services between Feb. 13 - Feb. 19 as officers worked to maintain safe roadways for all drivers.

Officer Steve Bielstein has been with SAPD for 26 years. However, he said last week was one of the busiest he has seen.

“Streets were totally iced over. We couldn’t do low water crossings. Low lying areas were really bad so we had to create our own ways to get to those calls,” Bielstein said.

Bielstein said the work was not easy, but the job was important as ever.

“We needed to come into work and we have a duty to come to protect people,” he said.

A total of 20 SAPD vehicles were damaged during the weather event. An SAPD spokesperson told KSAT that there were a total of five weather-related traffic deaths.

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