GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It's easy for something bad to happen in weather like this, a car accident, slip and fall, or worse. When that happens paramedics are out their risking their lives to help others.

When Marvin Raap with Life EMS gets the call, he hits the road. But today comes with another set of challenges.

Raap says, "The ice and snow increases our response time, including for our walking and safety."

Raap says storms like this are known as 'widow makers'
When people, especially men, over-exhert themselves shoveling snow.

"He maybe won't come in and his wife will find him unresponsive in the driveway from shoveling snow, he'll summons 911 and we'll obviously respond," says Raap.

Anyone with pain in their chest, even hours later should call 911.

The elderly are also most at risk during storms-- for falls, fractures, and frostbite, or worse.

"They're bound and determined they want to get their newspaper today, they slip, and any amount of exposure for them even if they can get up becomes deadly."

During a winter storm, the paramedics themselves say they're at risk at accidents when people gawk or don't move over.

"A lot of first responders are killed being struck while working at accidents or incidents, so that's another big thing that we worry about."

He says stay in and safe if you can, because while these medics can help, they'd prefer to not have to.