Paramedics responded to three separate incidents of frostbite and hypothermia in Prince Albert on the weekend.
Lyle Karasiuk with Parkland Ambulance says crews took care of three men, aged 20, 26 and 36, in different parts of town, and in each case they were not dressed appropriately for the conditions.
“[They had] frostbite to the face and hands, and in one case it was a bit more severe to the feet,” Karasiuk said. “It was all related to the distance they had to travel and not simply being properly dressed for the reasons they were outside.”
Karasiuk said there was no specific social or age group associated with the various cases nor was it related to a single event but rather “people walking from point A to point B” and not wearing the right gear.
He added it was somewhat unusual to have a small cluster of frostbite cases over a weekend that was not nearly as bad temperature wise as the Christmas to New Year week when they also attended to some frostbite cases.
The three men who crews assisted Saturday and Sunday were all taken to hospital in good and stable condition but Karasiuk said the public can be of help in keeping the number of frostbite victims down. Motorists can be aware of anyone they see on their regular route to work or late in the day who appear not to belong or are hunkered in a bus shelter late at night or an ATM lobby.
“We don’t ask people often to stop and offer their services, although that’s very generous of you," he said, “but simply the fact that you can call 911 and let paramedics or police go to that location and get the people the help they need.”
The bottom line is people need to give some thought to how they would be dressed if they were unexpectedly exposed to serious cold or need to travel by foot further than they’d planned.
Karasiuk said that means a toque, proper coat, an inner layer, mitts and decent footwear.
“If you’re not properly dressed and depending on how far you’re travelling …you can experience some frostbite,” he said.
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