Local first responders ready for blast of Arctic air

Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 13:25:03-05

With temperatures expected down in the 20's this week, first responders say emergency medical technicians are preparing accordingly.

Lt. Dan Tyk, of North Shore Fire Rescue, said common medical calls during the winter months are slips and falls, and back injuries or heart attacks due to people over-exerting themselves while shoveling snow.

"Be prepared for going outside," Tyk said. "Even just a simple task, like taking your garbage out, make sure you dress appropriately. Because you never know when you might have that slip and fall. It may be some time before we can get help to you."

Tyk said that in very cold temperatures, an extra engine crew will respond to medical calls to assist EMTs.

"Especially for someone outside having a medical emergency, that just helps us expedite getting them into the back of the ambulance and starting that re-warming process," Tyk said.

Tyk added NSFR ambulances also contain warmers for IV bags.

"Instead of giving a patient room temperature fluids, we'll give them fluids right around body temperature, which is 98 to 100 degrees, just to slowly start the warming up," he said.

Tyk said North Shore medics also keep plenty of blankets on hand during the winter.

"We definitely stock up with extra blankets and keep people bundled up," Tyk said. "We try to minimize their exposure as much as possible."