Ambulance Company Answers Record Number of Calls Due to Cold Snap
The cold snap is keeping paramedics extremely busy. It is the busiest December ever for the people at Bell Ambulance, and their medics are working extended shifts to cover all of the calls.
"Yeah, we've been getting a lot of exposure calls," said Scott Mickelsen, Deputy Operations Director at Bell Ambulance.
A lot of the calls they're getting are related to frost bite.
"It can happen in as little as five minutes," Mickelsen said. "In these temperatures and wind chills, you can start having some affects of frost bite."
Signs to look for include tingling in your fingers, numbness, pain, and discoloration. Then, there's the more serious Hypothermia.
"In a little as a half-hour in these elements, without the proper gear, you can start feeling hypothermia," Mickelsen added.
You start getting slow, maybe feel clumsy. When you stop shivering, that means it's getting worse and you need to get help now.
"That's the best treatment initially is just to get them warmed up," Mickelsen said.
If you're driving and your car breaks down, or worse, you slide off a snowy road, going to walk for help could increase your chances of frost bite or hypothermia. The American Red Cross suggests having your phone charged so you can call for help if you need it.
"And every hour, run it for about ten minutes, then turn it back off again," said Patty Flowers, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross in Wisconsin.
Flowers said another thing you can do is tell someone where you're going.
"So that if you don't arrive, people are going to start looking for you. Give them the route that you're gonna take," Flowers added.