Don't Put Your Finger in the Snowblower, and Other Tips From Middletown EMS
Middletown First Aid offers some things to remember when out and about in the snow today.
Last night with the storm, it was very quiet. We only had one storm-related accident with injuries that was very minor on Cooper Road. Fairview First Aid handled it.
The EMS Department offers the following tips (or reminders, if you will) for people today:
1) Bundle up and dress in layers. If you are outdoors for an extended period of time and your fingers, toes, or any exposed body parts start to hurt, get inside to warm up. The pain is an indication of frostbite setting in, and if you can’t feel these parts, it’s too late.
2) If you shovel your snow, know your limitations. If you start feeling winded, dizzy, or have any kind of chest pains, STOP! If you have rested for a few minutes, or go inside and the problem persists, call 9-1-1.
3) If you are using a snow blower and it becomes clogged, turn the snow blower off and remove the b\key before attempting to clear the clog. The clog can suddenly clear and break the stick (or whatever you use), snapping it and throwing it back at you. And trust me – it’s no fun for EMS personnel to go searching through the snow for amputated fingers – which can’t usually be re-attached anyway because of the damage caused by the snowblower. I know this sounds like common sense, but it happens all the time.
4) If you don’t need to go outside before the walkways and roads are clear, don’t. Especially with the elderly, the increase in the number of slips and falls outside is phenomenal. And we all know how difficult it is to detect black ice.
5) Make sure you clear all of the snow off your car before driving. Creating a small hole to see forward through clearly does nothing for full visibility and safe driving. And the snow left on your roof can become dislodged as you drive, creating a potential accident with the car behind you (The police department can probably give you the exact statute for this, if not add some of their own wisdom).
6) Driving in general, just go slow. See number four for that black ice issue.
In short, the men and women of the Middletown EMS Department wish to help keep our neighbors safe from harm. We love to meet people, but not on the wrong end of an emergency. Some simple steps and common sense will go a long way towards making this storm nothing more than a minor inconvenience, if not a rather enjoyable diversion from the normal weather we have.
-- Bob Pfleger, Public Information Officer
Township of Middletown, NJ Emergency Medical Services