Emergency Responders Working Through Cold

By Jim Madalinsky

Published 01/07 2014 05:12PM

Updated 01/07 2014 05:18PM

ALTOONA - It's not easy to stay warm on a day like this but emergency responders say they have a few tricks to help them beat these chilly temperatures.
“They have their normal uniforms but that doesn't necessarily apply to days like today,” AMED Director Gary Watters says.
Workers from AMED get a pass on parts of the dress code when it's this cold outside.
AMED responders carry an extra bag with hats, gloves and even handwarmers for days just like Tuesday.
“They could be at a structure fire or an auto accident for several hours and be outside, so they got to make sure that they're dressed properly have their gloves hats, layers of clothing,” Watters says.
Once out on the road, there's an extra sense of urgency.
“Anyone who's ill is a little bit more sensitive to the cold. They don't tolerate the cold as well. Trauma patients specifically don't tolerate the cold,” Watters says.
Responders use an all weather foil blanket for warmth and also have warm IV's to keep patients' body temperatures up.
Steps they say make a big difference, especially in sub-zero weather.
“Hypothermia can kill so hypothermia in a trauma patient can be the difference between life and death,” Watters says.
And they could also use a little help from you. AMED says keeping snow and ice off sidewalks can go a long way to help moving in and out of buildings.

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