As The Temperatures Drop, Need for Assistance Increases

By: Brett Baldeck Email
By: Brett Baldeck Email

The weather may look warm outside, but don't let the sun deceive you. Old man winter has made his return.

This time of year brings an increase call volume to EMS services and even they are taking precautions to keep warm.

"The crews watch out for each other obviously. If we had an incident where we had to keep people outside for a long time then we would probably rotate crews and have extra people to help out so we could get back into the warm," says Jim Williams, Field Operations Manager for Medical Center EMS.

The number one priority remains on the patient. The colder the weather, the higher chance for hypothermia. Contrary to what many believe, the effects can set in wherever the temperature is below our 98.6 degree body temperature.

"We will see people who have hypothermia maybe even inside their own home if they've got the temperature turned too far down trying to save money and maybe their not very mobile, an elderly person or somebody like that," says Williams.

With the winter chill back in our area Community Action of Southern Kentucky is focusing its efforts on home heating through the LIHEAP program, ensuring no homeowner is left in the cold.

"It helps just enough so they can get out of the crisis so they are not going to lose their heating. They have to be within four days of losing their gas or other heating source," says Public Information Coordinator Charity Parrish.

Parrish says as the temperatures have dropped more people have taken advantage of the program.

"Costs are always going up so you just have to get that help, maybe that extra boost you need to get you through that crisis," says Parrish.

So far this year more than 2,200 families have enrolled, avoiding that heating crisis.

To learn more about the LIHEAP Program Click Here.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia include:
-Dazed consciousness
-Loss of fine motor coordination, particularly in hands
-Slurred speech
-Skin is pale
-Body is cold to the touch

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