EMSA reminds people to drive safe, beware of cold exposure

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 12/14/2020, 9:48 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) EMSA has been busier than usual due to the weekend’s winter storm and cold weather. EMSA spokesperson Adam Paluka told us their wreck response nearly doubled on Sunday. Medics responded to 53 car accidents in Tulsa, Bixby, Jenks and Sand Springs instead of their typical 30. “Between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. alone we responded to 10 vehicle accidents,” Paluka said Sunday evening. “Usually we would respond to two– a sign conditions continue to deteriorate on area roadways.” Medics also responded to 57 slips and falls on Sunday, 33 of which required a patient being taken to the hospital. Many were weather-related. As for Monday, Paluka said they have responded to 13 vehicle accidents from midnight to 9:00 a.m. and 27 slips and falls, up from the typical 9 and 18 respectively. The main concern for today is cold exposure. We’re told EMSA has already responded to four cold exposure patients, in which three have been transported to the hospital. Paluka offered the following tips for people to stay warm if they need to be outside: When possible, try to work in an area sheltered from the wind. Dress appropriately. Wear at least three layers of clothing: an outer layer to break the wind and allow some ventilation (like gortex or nylon); a middle layer of wool, down, or synthetic pile to absorb sweat and retain insulating properties when wet; and an inner layer of cotton or synthetic weave to allow ventilation and escape of perspiration. Layer clothing to create air pockets that help retain body heat. Layering also makes adapting to changes in weather and level of physical exertion easier. Keep a change of clothing available in case your work clothes get wet. If your clothes get wet, you should try to change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Pay special attention to protecting your feet, hands, head, and face. Your head should be covered (up to 40% of your body heat can be lost when your head is exposed). Fingers and hands lose their dexterity at temperatures below 59°F. Find gloves that will allow you to perform the tasks you need to perform and remember to put dry gloves on if your gloves get wet. Wear boots or shoes that protect against cold and dampness. Footwear needs be insulated and fit comfortably with several layers of socks. Avoid wearing dirty or greasy clothing because they have poor insulating properties and will allow you to get cold faster than clean clothing.


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