Even if you haven’t been affected by the record-breaking winter storm known as the “polar vortex” that’s been sweeping the midwest, chances are you know someone who has.
The below-zero temperatures and freezing conditions have become downright dangerous, and in many places, it isn’t even safe to go outside.
Many schools have announced snow days, and businesses have temporarily closed. Folks have been advised to stay inside and bundle up.
According to the The New York Times, 2019’s January cold fest has broken weather records that date back decades.
The Times also noted the storm is allegedly to blame for at least 21 deaths. Over 2,300 U.S. flights have reportedly been canceled as well.
With conditions worse than we’ve seen in years, it’s amazing to see the men and women who have braved the cold and risked their lives to help others.
First responders have kept on with their duties, putting out fires or carrying out rescues, not batting an eye at the ice and snow.
Photos of some Minnesota firefighters rescuing a sweet golden retriever pup were captured. These may not melt the snow, but they’ll certainly melt your heart.
View this post on Instagram
SAFE AND SOUND: Minnesota firefighters safely rescued a family and their two adorable dogs from a 2nd alarm house fire. ? “Some good news from the fire today. Along with the family both dogs made it out including this puppy,” the fire department wrote on Twitter. #fire #firefighting #rescue #cuteanimals #puppies #dogs #minnesota
According to a Bloomington Fire Department tweet, the brave first responders were answering a call for a house fire. Thankfully, the family and their dogs made it out of the home safely.
The fire chief in Cameron, Wisconsin, was caught facing the serious chill as well. His face and beard are shown covered in frost.
“This is what it looks like after you’ve fought a fire in -50 degree wind chill,” the ABC News caption reads on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
This is what it looks like after you’ve fought a fire in -50 degree wind chill. Cameron, Wisconsin’s Fire Chief Mitch Hansen posed for a photo after battling a house fire Wednesday. The overspray from the hoses froze before hitting the firefighters as ice pellets. (Cameron Fire Assistant Chief Bilbo Gifford) #firefighter #frozen #cold #winter #wisconsin
Still another harrowing photo was taken of a firefighter in Chicago. His gloves can be seen standing straight up and frozen on the ledge where he sits.
“The real [heroes] of Chicago’s ‘Polar Vortex!'” William Shapotkin wrote on Facebook. “Thank you, CFD & CPD and all other first responders!”
There are also heroes who continue to work tirelessly to ensure others remain comfortable and safe in their homes while they wait out the storm.
In Madison, Wisconsin, Madison Water Utility lead worker Jim Garde has been working around the clock to fix burst pipes as temperatures plummet. The breaks can take anywhere from four to 10 hours to fix, and Garde has been working hard in the freezing cold with his team to ensure those affected are back to having running water as quickly as possible.
Everyday citizens have also heroically stepped out in the cold for others, too. A crossing guard was shown redhanded — holding a stop sign and helping students cross the street in a storm.
“School Crossing Guards Rock!” Wisconsin’s Markesan Police Department wrote on Facebook. “…these crossing guards are heading out each morning knowing they are going to have to endure this bitterly cold weather for an hour at a time.”
We’re so grateful to any man or woman who has placed their own comfort and safety aside to make sure others are cared for.
From all of us at Liftable, thank you. We know you work long hours in often thankless jobs. Our hearts are full seeing these photos, knowing kindness and love prevail, even amidst the storm. You are the true heroes of this season.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.