We love hearing feedback. So when a Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch reader emailed this week to ask about a feature of some St. Louis ambulances, we decided to investigate.
The reader wrote: "I have worked in Clayton in a parking garage and have wondered why the Clayton ambulances have chains hanging under them. I noticed this about Richmond Heights also. Can you tell me what these are for? Thank you."
We asked Chief Kerry Hogan of the and Chief Mark Thorp of the to weigh in. Here's what they said in email responses to the question.
"Those would be our snow/ice chains," Hogan wrote. "We have them on our fire trucks, too. In the old days, we would have to wrap the chains around the tires by hand when the weather was bad. These old chains also broke a lot, causing substantial damage to the fire trucks. Now, all we have to do is press a button inside the cab of the truck and the chains lower when we need them and raise them when we don't."
Thorp said the same is true in Clayton.
"They are emergency snow/ice chains that operate as needed to allow traction for the ambulances and fire trucks in bad weather so we can get safely to emergencies," Thorp wrote.
"The chains stay on vehicles all year but are used in the winter when turned on by the driver. We use On-Spot brand, but there are several companies that make them."
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