Responding to calls can be challenging in and of itself. Add a foot of snow into the mix and everything from driving to loading a patient to moving the cot to simply being able to get to the door becomes even trickier.
We asked the JEMS.com Facebook fans to share their No. 1 tips for responding to calls in the snow. Here’s what they had to say. We hope you not only learn or are reminded of something, but also have a laugh or two (it’s good to have a little fun sometimes, right?). Stay safe!
When you’re on duty in the snow, remember:
Tyler said: Your coat!
John said: Slow down.
Greg said: Don't raise the stretcher with the patient more than halfway up until you’re at the back of the ambulance.
Amy Marie-Anne said: Make sure the scene is safe.
Kevin said: Slow is steady; steady is fast.
King said: Ambulances drive different than cars.
Nicholas said: Claim a defect on the truck and have another crew deal with it, brew a fresh pot of coffee and live the dream.
Kenneth said: Think about the terrain.
Mr. McKinney said: Patients hate being cold.
David said: Lights and sirens don't make you stop any quicker.
Vernon said: It’s so easy to forget warm gear when your call is to a residence. Then before you know it you’re dispatched outside. Remember: The call you get may not be the one you end up on and you may not have time to go back and get warm gear. Also, check your winter gear before you try to use it.
Joshua said: Remember the MVC you are hauling a** to was probably hauling a** when they crashed, so don't become a statistic!
Patricia said: Don’t slip and fall while carrying a patient on a backboard!
Travis said: Don't let the rookie drive.
Keith said: Keep the rubber side down.
Vicki said: I have more hope when I respond to critical calls where the patient is still cold. The saying really is true: You're not dead until you're warm and dead.
Clay said: The same as any other call: safety first.
Kasriel said: Put chains on the tires. Some ambulances don't have them.
Donald said: It was 18 degrees here in Alaska the other day. The benefit of ice/snow is that you can do a U-turn in the same lane!
Richard said: Don’t eat yellow snow.
Chad said: Wear a sock cap.
Jim said: Allow more time, wear waterproof, insulated boots, and don't be afraid to ask for a fire department Suburban 4x4!
Clayton said: Jacket, jacket, jacket, jacket, and waterproof boots!
Ben said: Hot chocolate is nice.
Laura said: Under armor is one’s best friend!
Adam said: Look where you plant your feet. I spent four months out of work with a torn medial patellofemoral ligament and a fractured patella. Nine months later, my quad is still atrophied.
James said: Never rush. You’re No. 1, your partner is No. 2, and your patient is No. 3. When in doubt, use a gator with a stretcher attached. It works great on all roads.