Despite extreme winter weather, some outdoor jobs keep on

Even with temperatures well below zero degrees, some jobs just can’t wait until it warms up or the snow melts away. News 8 spoke to two organizations about the difficulties of jobs that take you to the great outdoors when you would rather stay inside.

For more than 50 years, the sanitation workers at Harter’s Quick Clean-Up have been picking up our trash.

“We’ve always gone out regardless of what the temperatures have been,” said Gary Harter, president of Harter’s Quick Clean-Up.

The company has moved more towards automation, meaning garbage collectors don’t always have to hop out to load up the truck. But sometimes, even the machinery doesn’t want to work in this weather.

“The hydraulics get a little… the oil just gets thicker and it just kind of runs a little slower,” Harter said.

Harter’s does have a few routes that call for more manual labor.

“You’re moving a lot so that kind of helps you stay warm. If you can keep your feet warm, you’re usually pretty good,” Harter said.

Lots of layers also help firefighters keep warm while responding to emergencies.

“We wear extra clothes try to have as little skin exposure as possible and just try to stay out of the elements,” said Lt. Jesse Walters, of the La Crosse Fire Department.

If they’re outside for a medical call or car crash, they can stay outside for quite some time. But one of the problems they run into is getting their clothes wet when responding to fires.

“So that’s where we will need to get out of those clothes and into a warm environment as soon as possible,” Walters said.

It’s this kind of issue they train for all year round, in addition to daily meetings to prepare for any conditions they may face while out on a call.

“Whether it’s slippery roads, slippery conditions or whether it’s the cold or the heat in the summer,” Walters said.

To help those who are working outside, make sure you shovel. Get your garbage bins out of the snow bank and cleared off for sanitation workers. Residents are asked to clear away from fire hydrants outside your home in case firefighters have to respond to an emergency.

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