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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snow Removal - Heart Safety EMS Call Prevention Tips!

City of Kawartha Lakes EMS responds to several calls each year for snow related emergences for both shoveling and snow blowing incidents. Be smart! Stay safe! 
Snow Shovelling? Snow Blowing? Use Your Head- Protect Your Heart! 
While moving snow either shovelling or blowing can be good exercise, it can also be hazardous for optimistic individuals who take on more than they can handle.  City of Kawartha Lakes Emergency Medical Services offers the following tips to help you get a handle on safe shoveling and snow blowing.
1.    Shovelling:
  • Dress as you would for any outdoor activity. Dressing in layers is best. Take extra precautions to keep hands and feet warm as well as using colours that are highly visible (i.e. reflective clothing or safety vest).
  • Take it easy. Snow shoveling is a weight-lifting exercise that raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Warm up before starting the job and stretch both before and after shoveling.
  • If possible, shovel only fresh snow — it is easier to shovel than wet, packed-down snow.
  • Push the snow forward rather than lifting it out of the way; pick up only small amounts when needed. Your back will thank you.
  • As with any lifting activity, use your legs, not your back. Legs should be bent and back straight. Bend and "sit" into the movement, allowing large muscle groups to do most of the work.
  • Never work to the point of exhaustion. Take frequent breaks. If your chest feels tight, stop immediately. Individuals who are relatively inactive should be especially careful. If you have a history of heart trouble, check with your doctor before shoveling.
·         The safest choice for those with risk factors is to hire a snow removal professional. But for those who insist on doing it themselves, follow this advice: shovel for five minutes or so, and rest for three. Maintain this pace to prevent fatigue and over exertion.
  • Let someone know that you're outdoors so they'll know if there's a problem.
2.    Snow Blowing
·         Use all the principles as above (especially ensuring you are highly visible).
·         Make sure to keep hands and feet away from moving parts while the snow blower is in operation.
·         Make sure small children and pets are safely away from the snow blowing activities.
·         Pay attention for pedestrians and the motoring public when nearing a city sidewalk or road way.
·         Remember to wear hearing protection when operating a snow blower.
·         Be alert that your hearing will be impaired during operation of a snow blower.

Should you encounter problems, Call 911 immediately.

image Omemee Bridge Snow covered

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