The snowy season brings on excitement and challenges for residents of the Fishers community. Often, we know it is about to snow when we see the white trucks begin to distribute salt on the local roads. Fishers DPW snowplow crews work hard during inclement weather to ensure that residents can navigate through Fishers safely.
Meet the man behind daytime operations for the city’s snow operation, Jeff Cardinal, who has been fighting the Fishers snow fight for many seasons.
As the head of daytime operations, Cardinal attends to many aspects of snow and weather, including snowplow scheduling. His contributions aide in the clarity and efficiency of the Fishers snow fight.
“I work during the days, so I schedule the day-shift drivers” Cardinal said. “We go onto our snow shifts, and simultaneously we determine what kind of precipitation we’re going to get. Is it going to be wet, is it going to be powder, is it going to be a mixed with rain, or is it going to be ice?”
A typical shift for drivers is 12 hours long. However, operations run 24-hours a day with shifts alternating between day and night.
“For each shift, our drivers are always assigned to the same truck. We tell them these are the roads we’re going to hit; this is where we are going to use salt and how much we’re going to use.”
In addition to road treatment logistics, Cardinal and his team must be prepared for the unexpected. “We’re monitoring police and fire activity as well as weather and weather changes, and we adjust our routes accordingly,” Cardinal said.
While many might assume snow plowing to be a winter only job, the preparation begins much sooner. “We start planning for snow in April. We go over, how was this last winter? How did we do? What did we not do well, and what can we do better?” Cardinal said. “From there, we figure out staffing issues, what new pavement have we added to our inventory, and what subdivisions have been added.”
Fishers DPW prioritizes main corridors, schools, and then neighborhoods throughout the community.
As residents, it can be difficult to navigate how to help snowplow drivers during their busiest season, but Cardinal has outlined three ways residents can do their part.
First and foremost, “We ask that residents remove cars off the street so we can clear it without having to navigate around vehicles, and so we don’t have to backtrack and come back to clean up snow that is left trying to plow around the car,” Cardinal said.
Please be sure to adhere to the parking ordinance and avoid parking your vehicle in restricted areas (i.e., in front of or immediately opposite a driveway, within 20 feet of an intersection, etc.) so that Fishers DPW can effectively plow our roads to keep them safe and clear! Not familiar with the ordinance? Check out the Municipal Code at fishers.in.us/CodeInfo.
The second is also an important tip: “Please do not snow blow or shovel snow out into the street, especially after we plow it!” Cardinal said. Finally, “Please know that we never intentionally put snow into anyone’s driveway. We do our best during the conditions and all that snow has to go somewhere!”
For more information about the Fishers Snow Fight, to report snowplow needs on municipal streets, and find safety tips for dealing with winter weather, visit fishers.in.us/SnowFight.
NEIGHBORHOOD: East Fishers
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: Murphy’s Pub, Wild Ginger
FAVORITE FISHERS PARK: Brooks School Park
FAVORITE LOCAL BUSINESS: Kroger
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A SATURDAY: Watching football and hoping it doesn’t snow!
Laura Masoni is the Public Relations Intern for the City of Fishers. She moved to Fishers from Greenwood in 2010. Her favorite activities include traveling, rowing at Eagle Creek, and going to concerts in Downtown Indy. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her friends and listen to podcasts & music.