TREDYFFRIN, Pa. (CBS) —  Medics and firefighters in Montgomery and Chester counties are gearing up to provide emergency services for whatever the storm might bring.

Largely volunteer first responders, like those at the Berwyn Fire Company in Tredyffrin, Chester County, say they plan to use special 4-wheel drive apparatus if necessary.

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They will also utilize stokes baskets which slide like sleds across snow to carry patients in place of traditional hand-carried stretchers.

“The biggest thing is response time,” Berwyn Chief Eamon Brazunas explained to CBS 3’s Walt Hunter.

The Chief says many volunteers who would normally respond in their cars to the firehouse to answer alarms will now stay in bunkrooms at the firehouse, leaving families at home, so they can head out immediately.

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Deputy Chief Al Davey says volunteers will also make the ambulance headquarters their “home” during the storm.

“While the snow is inconvenient for some people, it can’t be inconvenient in a medical emergency,” he explained.

Chief Davey says the crews will be equipped to deal with all cold-weather emergencies, carrying extra supplies of blankets and pre-warmed holders of IV fluids to keep patients, in the chief’s words, “warm outside and inside”.

The Chief advises anyone requiring medication or oxygen to stock up with extra supplies.

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Chief Brazunas also asks residents, once it’s safe to shovel, to take a few minutes to clear snow from around fire plugs so they can be easily spotted by responding fire crews.