Latest articles from Lyle Karasiuk

Putting your best foot forward

Moms and Dad’s are excited while children are apprehensive; it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s Back to School time! Hundreds of children will walk to and from school every day – slow down to posted speed limit in all school zones. Hey, it’s a pretty good rule to follow in all residential areas where children are playing.

Children under the age of nine often have not developed the skills necessary to cross the street safely by themselves. Their sight, hearing, height, perception, and mental development are not the same as adults, and this decreases their ability to make safe judgments about traffic. Children, from an early age, need to learn how to cross a street safely, through repetition and encouragement. A child under the age of nine should always be accompanied adults or older children whenever they cross the street.

So how do we teach children to cross a street safely?

  • Stop at the corner.
  • Never cross between parked cars – if there is a marked crosswalk always use it even if it is a little further down the street.
  • If the corner is supervised by school patrollers – always obey their instructions.
  • Look left then look right for vehicles that maybe approaching.
  • Make eye contact with drivers so you know that they see you and they know that you see them.
  • Make sure cars come to a complete stop before you start to cross the road.
  • Walk, don’t run as you cross the street and continue to look both ways as you cross.

Many children will be riding the school bus to and from school each day. A few simple reminders can make their ride a safe one too!

  • Stay back from the designated bus stop – off the road and out of approaching traffic.
  • If waiting in line, wait quietly no pushing or shoving.
  • Make sure that the bus driver can see you.
  • Wait till the bus driver activates the warning lights and flashing stop arm – In the City of Prince Albert school busses do not use the flashing red lights and stop arm (Bylaw 54 of 1983), so always stop when a school bus is loading or unloading.
  • While on the bus do not yell and shout.
  • Never walk around while the bus is moving.
  • When you leave the bus – walk at least 3 meters (10 feet) in front of the bus so you can be seen and stop look both ways before going to the opposite side of the street.

Whether our children walk to school or ride the bus, a few extra safety precautions can make the difference. Remember to buckle up while riding in a vehicle. Parents – just because school has started doesn’t mean your child needs to be removed from his or her booster seat. Many children might ride in a booster seat till at least age nine.

It’s all about height and weight. It is law in Saskatchewan that children must use a booster until age 7 or weigh 36 kgs. (80 lbs.) AND stand 145 cm (4’9”) tall.

Children will be safer if they continue to use a booster beyond the legal requirement, until the seat belt fits them properly. Don’t be surprised when your son or daughter says, “How come my friends don’t ride in a car seat?” Everyone is a different height and weight. All vehicles and car seats are different too!

Welcome back to school. Have a great school year!

Summer Fun!


Get outside and enjoy the summer is likely a message shared by many families. Whether at the lake, on a road trip, visiting friends and family or in your own back yard, have fun! However, do not put safety on the back burner.

In a rush to get the family ready for a trip to the lake, one might look at the grass and say, ‘a quick trip with the lawn mower and it will be good till we get home.’ Proceeding to attack the grass wearing flip flops might not work out so well in the end. Proper footwear is essential. You might also want to add some hearing protection, a hat and sunscreen too!

During the summer, children often create their own adventures. Climbing trees, building a fort, going on a scavenger hunt or a bike ride in the neighborhood. Every adventure has its own set of risks. Prevent and reduce injuries by:

  • Wear a properly fitting helmet for cycling or skateboarding – one that is just above the eyebrow, flat on the head, straps form a V around the ears and snug under the chin.
  • Crossing the street is a simple action but stopping to look both ways is first and very important.
  • Teach your children that they need to let mom, dads and care givers know where they are headed such as headed across the street to friends or biking to the park.
  • Motorists, please slow down in residential areas or at the lake. We have lots of people out walking, cycling and taking in the sites.

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death. At the beach put the phone or book away and watch your kids. The same goes for the back yard pool no matter how deep the water. Simple actions like loading the boat at the dock while the children ‘run around’ could be a disaster. Keep an eye on the children! Basic swimming lessons are essential as are wearing a life jacket, for everyone, while out in the boat. Leave the booze at the cabin and not in the boat. Penalties are the same as driving a motor vehicle. So please don’t drink and boat.

Summer fun might also include visits to many provincial sites, tourist attractions, museums or other public venues. If outdoors be sure to pack along hat, sunscreen, water bottle and of course good walking shoes. Flip flops are not good shoes for walking on trails nor is that brand new pairs of runners either. Wearing the ‘right gear for the right adventure’ is important. If out for a hike know where you are going. Have a plan to let other know when you are expected to return but more importantly as unlikely as it might be things can go wrong. In your backpack have a couple extra large garbage bags. They can double as a rain poncho. Matches to start a fire might prove useful too. But most importantly if you become lost hug a tree, simple stay where you are. If you are an avid hiker, then you should be prepared for an emergency. Some basic first aid supplies to control bleeding and splinting are the likeliest types of injuries.

Knowing what to do in an emergency is not being prepared with a first aid kit but also having some training. Let us help you with First Aid Basics, a noncertified information session. A standard first aid course or more advanced training like an emergency medical responder. We have courses available, please give us a call for details!

Garage Sales: know what you can sell … and what you can’t

So you want to have a garage sale. You’ve got the stuff, you’ve picked the date, you’ve set the prices and the sale is started. But wait… is everything you have out for sale legally able to be sold?

Health Canada and various other government agencies through laws and regulation state some items cannot be legally sold or even given away. Before you buy or sell know what you are able to sell.

This article only gives a small sample of some of the regulations for more detailed information visit and get the facts. To ensure accuracy in reporting some information has been copied directly from the Health Canada web site.

Car Seats

Car seats must have a National Safety Mark and meet current regulatory requirements. Remember that it is illegal to sell car seats that do not meet the current regulatory requirements. You should always check with the manufacturer before selling a car seat.

Car seats must come with warnings, guidelines for use, installation instructions, and date of manufacture. Do not sell a car seat that is past the lifespan recommended by the manufacturer or that has been in a vehicle during a collision.

Before selling a used car seat, check with Transport Canada (1-800-333-0371 or for more information and to find out if the car seat has been recalled. Also, be sure that it is in good condition with no missing parts and with functioning anchoring systems.

Children’s Sleepwear

Do not sell loose-fitting children’s sleepwear made of cotton, cotton blends or rayon as they burn more easily. Loose-fitting children’s sleepwear includes nightgowns, bathrobes, and loose pyjamas. They should be made of polyester, nylon or polyester/nylon blends.

Tight-fitting children’s sleepwear includes polo pyjamas and sleepers (with tight cuffs at the end of sleeves and pants legs, close fit to the body). They are less likely to make contact with a fire source and are likely to burn more slowly. They can be made from cotton, cotton blends or rayon.

Ice Hockey Helmets and Face Protectors and other helmets

Ice hockey helmets and face protectors sold in Canada must carry a sticker indicating they meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) and clearly showing the standard number. If the standard number is not present, discard the product.

Ice hockey helmets must also have a chin strap and a label with the date of manufacture. These items must not be sold if previously subjected to major impact, if older than five years, if showing signs of damage, or if parts are missing. Be careful as damage done to helmets is not always visible. If you are unsure of a helmet condition, it is better not to sell it.

Helmets are designed to protect the head against either single or multiple impacts. They can be certified through a number of organizations (for example, Snell, CSA, ANSI) and should have a label stating to which standard they have been certified. Bicycle, in-line skating and equestrian helmets. These helmets are designed to protect the head against a single impact.

It is not recommended that you buy these products second-hand or that you borrow them from others. Ski and snowboard helmets. These helmets may be designed for single or multiple impacts. If you are unsure which type it is, Health Canada recommends that you do not buy it. Do not buy second-hand single impact helmets. If you decide to buy a multiple impact helmet, ensure it meets a recognized safety standard by checking for a label.

For more information, contact Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada: 1-866-662-0666, email, or visit and To check for consumer product recalls posted by Health Canada: Grab a few bargains at your next garage sale but be sure you don’t end up with someone else’s problems. Buyer beware that it may not be what you see.

Spring is here!


The warmer weather has brought many people outdoors cleaning yards, walking pets, or enjoying some long overdue family exercise. What ever brings you outdoors, doing the activity will prevent injury and an unnecessary visit to the hospital emergency room.

If cycling is on your list of activities, follow this advice:

  • Make sure the bike is in good working order and properly maintained. Ensure the chain is tight and any damaged parts are repaired.
  • Make sure the bike and bike helmet fit. Standing with feet flat on the ground your child should have at least 1 inch (2.5cm) between the bar and their crotch area. If the helmet is cracked or greater than 5 years of age, it needs to be replaced.
  • Helmets need to fit flat on everyone’s head with two fingers between the chin and strap. Never wear a ball cap under your cycle helmet. Yes, everyone including mom’s and dad’s need to be wearing an approved cycle helmet.

Whether it is just the children out with friends, or the entire family should follow these bike rules:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride single file on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Use arm signals when turning or changing lanes.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Obey traffic lights and signs. It’s okay to walk your bike through an intersection if riding through busy traffic makes you uncomfortable.
  • Learn to look over your shoulders without losing your balance or swerving.
  • Scan the road ahead for potholes, railway crossings, slippery surfaces, loose gravel, and other obstacles.
  • Remember that drivers have blind spots. Ride either well ahead of or well behind vehicles.
  • Experienced riders should ride on the road, not the sidewalk. Beginners should learn on the sidewalk and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Never wear headphones when cycling. The music is distracting and drowns out the noise of other traffic.
  • Always ride with caution. Although you may see an approaching vehicle, the driver may not see you.

If your youth are headed to the skateboard park to try some new tricks safety is just as important for the skateboard enthusiast and BMX rider alike.

  • Wear a helmet – cool multi-sport helmets are available from many local dealers.
  • Wear additional protective equipment like wrist guards, knee pads or elbow pads.
  • Don’t let loose clothing or laces get caught in the chain or spokes.
  • Watch for others as to not collide.
  • Practicing jumps or tricks are what you want to do but do so within the limits of your ability.

In case an incident occurs that results in potential injury do not move. Get help if someone complains of head, neck, or back pain. Do not try to move them. Dial 9-1-1 for the paramedics! If walking to and from school is a regular daily event for your child, review with them where to cross and how to use both marked and unmarked crosswalks. As adults we too need to be reminded to use crosswalks and not to cross in the middle of the block.

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week, those affected by forest fires sadly already know what being prepared is as many folks across the north have been evacuated while others anxiously watch and wait hoping they too won’t be forced to leave. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those evacuated and to those hard-working folks fighting these forest fires. Being prepared is important to everyone not just in the rural area but in the city as well. We think that when an emergency occurs help will be there quickly. While that’s true a large-scale natural disaster of fire or a storm, forces emergency services to make priorities. If we can take some time now vs being rushed to leave, we can hopefully be just a bit more prepared. is the government of Canada web site with a lot of important information. So is the Canadian Red Cross and others. Download important apps like Sask Alert for urgent bulletins in your local area. Follow our social media account for more information on being safe and prepared. Have a safe day!

Three cheers for spring

Snow melting is a sure sign that spring has arrived. We have been waiting for weeks to say, “spring is here.” But living in Saskatchewan, we all know the unpredictable nature of the weather means we can still see snow, freezing rain and slippery conditions. While we switch seasons do not rush out the door in the morning without first checking weather conditions. Travellers check the highway conditions. While you might wear a heavier coat in the morning, dressing in layers will keep you comfortable throughout the day’s activities.

Spring means a lot of us can hardly wait to get outdoors. But there are still piles of snow along roadways and our favorite walking path might still be snow covered too. As we look for a safe place to walk, be sure to wear something bright so you can be seen by traffic. Do you your best to walk against the traffic where no sidewalk is available. Motorists do you best to spot pedestrians who suddenly step into traffic to dodge a puddle. Pedestrians, it’s essential to cross at the cross walk. The traffic expects you there not in the middle of the block. A few cyclists have already grabbed their bikes and ventured out but it is still a bit risky for cycling with lots of gravel, some snow ridges still evident but hey if you are headed out obey the rules of the road and don’t forget your cycling helmet. Speaking of bikes, now is a wonderful time to dust off the bikes for the family. Pump up the tires, check the brakes, ensure everyone still fits their wheels. If you need visit a local dealer for a spring tune up or a new set of wheels. With spring comes skateboards too and of course maybe your child has grown over the winter. Get the right fit for your helmet to keep the head safe!

Spring sadly starts to show the hidden trash of winter that was covered by the snow. Help keep your yard and your neighborhood clean by picking up some of that trash. If you discover a needle or other potentially dangerous “sharp” object, removing it can be safely done by you. Wear some gloves, pick the needle from the plunger end never the sharp needle end. Drop it into a puncture resistant container and dispose of it safely at a safe location like our needle exchange facility. Please do not throw the needle into a trash container especially where the potential exists that someone could be harmed if they are hand sorting like in our recycling depots.

Warmer temperatures will melt away the last of the snow and ice from your yard, but the long-awaited opening of lakes will also occur. Time to stay off rivers, lakes, ponds, and dugouts. The water underneath will be extremely cold should you fall into the water, hypothermia will set in quite quickly. Remind your children now that with melting snow the shoreline is slippery and unstable, so be safe and stay off the ice. While the geese might be asking who booked their trip seeing all this snow, we know with warmer temperatures it will not be long till we can enjoy our yards and cottages.

As we transition from winter to spring, staying dry is important, especially for our feet. So, grab some rubber boots or other waterproof footwear when you head out for an afternoon walk with friends and family. Three cheers for spring!!! Be Safe and enjoy the weather!

In an emergency who are you going to call?


Your mom, a co-worker, the neighbor across the street or even a parent. As strange as it might sound people do not often call paramedics first but hope someone else can offer assistance. Yes, first aid can be lifesaving to stop the bleeding, start the breathing or preform CPR, but paramedics are the out of hospital professionals you need quickly at any emergency. Obviously if you are the babysitter at home, dial for help first then contact parents or caregivers.

In a few weeks it is a very special for a group of people that rarely are ever seen. The week of April 9-15 is National Emergency Telecommunicators Week. When you call 9-1-1 the 9-1-1 operator will quickly transfer your call to our telecommunication specialists who starts giving you help right over the phone. This does not happen in the 9-1-1 center but in one of three regional medical communication centers in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, or Regina. In Prince Albert behind a locked door sit some special people. These telecommunications specialists at Parkland Ambulance Care handle over 50,000 calls annually. Expertly handle multiple emergency calls from folks not only in Prince Albert but much of northern/central Saskatchewan. Our communications specialists also might talk to a tourist in a collision in LaRonge, a frantic mom in Tisdale or someone in need of help in Pelican Narrows. Using state of the art and very sophisticated computer technology, our communications personnel expertly handle multiple calls at once. The incident might require rural first responders, police, fire services or other resources. All this has to be coordinated in a timely fashion. Plus the telecommunications specialists need to be alert to subtle things like people arguing in the background from a caller who says someone has been assaulted. A child might call for help because a parent lies motionless at the bottom of some stairs and they are very frightened. A bystander trying their best to perform CPR and someone is gone to get the AED. All these situations are very real for the busy career telecommunication specialists in our regional communications center. The dedication, caring and commitment of our team is incredible.

The voice who you talk to is trained to give you the best possible assistance they can but these heroes are human too. At the end of your situation another awaits and with the skill of a symphony conductor, our team makes sure the paramedics and other resources arrive safely. Remember that when our medical communications team knows where you are help is on the way. While the team continues to ask additional information, help is on the way! During the week of April 9-15, we salute all our telecommunication specialists but also say thank you to the other medical communicators and provincial 9-1-1 too. These agencies also play an important role in your safety. Beyond the telephone there is a great team of telecommunicators at Parkland Ambulance Care ready and able to assist you in your time of need! Congratulations to our awesome communications team members.

The week of April 16-22 is National Volunteer Week. Parkland Ambulance Care has over 80 men and women who in 2023 donated over 600 hours to the community. From hockey games to street fairs, judo tournaments to school visits, Parkland Ambulance has some of the busiest and hardest working volunteers in the community. Thank you for the many things you do for the community. Congratulations to the 1000s of other community volunteers who support everything from schools to churches, scouts or guides to community theatre, welcoming others from another country and more!!! So many groups and events would not exist without great volunteers. Thank you Parkland Ambulance paramedics and communications personnel. Your volunteer commitment is outstanding. Happy volunteer week, April 16-22 everyone!

Poison prevention is simple


Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, a curious child is bound to explore the most unlikely places. While you might think that what’s in the cupboard is safe from little hands it’s probably not. Every year hundreds of people are poisoned from common household chemicals. Prevention is the key to safety around your home, and not just for our children either. This week is Poison Prevention Week, a great reminder that even the little things can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Read the label – the manufacturer of any household product prints safe handling instructions right on the container. Be sure to wear gloves and/or eye protection if required. The label is designed to give you important safety information. If you are in the workplace, then chemical information is usually store in one location for all workplace chemicals. Be informed and know what you are doing before you engage in an activity.

Store the product safely – with small children or pets, keep cupboard locked or chemicals stored out of reach. Don’t pour a portion of a poisonous substance from a large container into an improper smaller container. For example, keep bleach in the original container. Just because it’s too heavy to carry to the laundry room pouring into something a soda bottle is only asking for trouble. Never store chemicals with food products. Don’t mix cleaning products together! A dash of this or dash of that might be a great baking recipe, but not safe for chemicals.

Clean up spills properly and quickly – follow the instructions on the container for safe handling. Chemicals such as antifreeze spilled on the ground can be deadly if ingested by pets.

Know what to do in an emergency – if it’s a dry chemical, wearing gloves brush it off and flush the area with lots of water. If it’s a wet chemical than flush with lots of water. Remove contact lens, jewelry and any clothing contaminated with the substance. If the chemical is something in the air like carbon monoxide, then remove everyone to fresh air immediately and seek further medical assistance.

Keep medications in a secure location – medications can be harmful if not taken correctly always follow your pharmacist’s instructions and tell them if you are taking any herbs or vitamins as these sometime. Common over the counter medications such as cold medicines can cause side effects such as feeling tired. Always read the label and follow the printer instructions. Common simple things like laundry detergent pods can prove hazardous to children.

Medication is not candy – teach your children that medications are to help them feel better. Don’t treat it like candy. Keep medications in their original containers so that they can be easily recognized. Dispose of outdated medications by taking them to your local pharmacy for proper safe handling. Many adults will set medication out by the cereal bowl as a reminder to take with breakfast. An early eager child could crawl up on a stool if visiting grandparents and ingest the bright colored pills.

Who to call in an emergency – if the victim is awake, talking, with no shortness of breath, chest pain, allergic reaction symptoms or other life-threatening conditions then it’s safe to call the provincial poison control center at 1-866-454-1212 for assistance. If the person is unconscious, having trouble breathing or not acting their usual self dial 9-1-1 and get the paramedics.

In an emergency many of us may not have time to gather all the important information we need. It’s important that now while you have the time, make a list of such things as medications, emergency contacts, medical problems, or allergies. Use our new ICE (In Case of Emergency) kit available from Lake Country Co-op or our office at Parkland Ambulance. Get one they are free! These kits help you store vital information all in one place and acceptable to professionals just in case! Be Safe!

Good shoes the key to staying on your feet

Seniors are an active group. However sometimes the older we get our bodies don’t respond or move like they used to. With that in mind preventing injuries is good practice. Like they say an apple a day might keep the doctor away. A little stretching and some good footwear can prevent slips and falls too!

My grandmother many years ago used to wear good shoes in the house. She had the right idea; good footwear inside and out can prevent falls. Think of children who love slide on the smooth floor with their socks. Preventing falls is very important because falling might result in injury. Injury might send us to the hospital where the recovery process and further treatment can be long. Fall also might cause injuries that could be life changing that might cause the loss of our independence. Preventing falls should be a priority!

Here are some ways to prevent falls:

• Reduce clutter – boxes, newspapers, cords, knitting bags, anything lying around can be a trip hazard. We all have lots of stuff. Organize or reduce the stuff we have.

• Good lighting – navigating stairs or going the washroom at night all could use some good lighting. Night lights or motion sensor lights are an inexpensive solution.

• Remove loose mats – we might have a throw rug or bathmat that needs to be securely fastened to the floor or removed all together.

• Taking your time getting up – sometimes medications or the simple fact of lying down might cause us to be dizzy if we sit up. Sit up, wait a few seconds for your body to become accustomed to being upright before heading to make lunch or your daily routine.

• Have regular vision checks – over 65 an annual visit to your eye professional is recommended. Good vision with proper corrective lens if required help to navigate better. While the designer frames from the drug store make you look 10 years younger, they don’t help you see well.

• Use walking assists in your home – often the walker or cane is left by the door, because that’s what we taken when go outside. Grabbing counter tops, or backs of chairs is not a safe practice to navigating around the house or apartment.

• Heading outdoors – depending on the season ice and snow or uneven ground for example in the garden can be challenging. Take your time, wear good footwear and use any assists as appropriate.

• Have a plan – if you do fall but can not get up how are you going to summon help from paramedics or even your family. Have one of those medical alarms, attach the cordless phone to belt, even a whistle worn around your neck. Anything to call for or alert close friends neighbors that help is needed.

If you’ve fallen, but injuries or illness prevent you from speaking for yourself. How do you tell paramedics or the hospital who you are? What medications or medical history you might have? How do we alert your family? How do we know your wishes might be for things like advance care directives?

Together Parkland Ambulance and Lake Country Coop have created a small compact folder called ICE. ICE stands for in case of emergency and inside the packet is a piece of paper where you answer some of these questions and more. Put the packet in your purse; with a fridge magnet stick it onto the fridge or some other noticeable place, that when needed paramedics will see it and access this vital information.

Where can you get one? Visit Parkland Ambulance or any Lake Country Pharmacy location in Prince Albert and pick up your free ICE packet.

Today’s technology has more and more people especially seniors, using mobile devices. The ‘bad guys’ are getting smart about pretending to be someone trying to ask for money or have you given them personal information. A few easy steps for your cyber security and safety. Open emails only from people you know. Reading the news online avoid clicking the ads for the cute puppies, hair care products, discount rentals or what ever other thing that catches your eye. Avoid giving out your cell phone number or email address to people you don’t know are adding it to random surveys on your phone.

It’s important to remember that your personal information is just that personal information. If you would want your picture on a sign on the busiest street corner in the city, don’t give out your name, address or other personal information. Be safe!

First one there? Be the first one to care


Have you witnessed a car crash and not known what to do or how to help? You are not alone. Many people want to help the victims but have reservations about knowing exactly what to do. Others have done more than was required of them, yet others do the wrong thing and make situations much worse.

Ordinary people who are trained to do simple actions can save lives. In any emergency you can make the difference, just do something, don’t stand there and wonder if you can help. If it is safe, anything you might do will help. Listen to the instructions of the emergency medical dispatcher. They will keep you calm and give you direction needed to help the injured or ill person.

The challenge is to overcome fears of “not doing it right” and the attitude of “not wanting to get involved.” When tragedy happens, such as a car crash, making a few simple, calculated and correct choices can mean the difference to someone else. If you are the first there, be the first one to care. Sometimes the simplest action can make the difference. Wouldn’t you want someone to help if it was you who was injured?

STOP to help – the easiest thing that you can do is recognize that an emergency does exist and stop to offer what assistance you can. Always ensure your own safety. At a collision, park your vehicle safely to the side and watch for traffic. Have someone direct or control traffic to prevent further collisions. Keep the crowd of bystanders away.

CALL for help – using your cellular phone, sending someone to the nearest phone or going to a phone yourself, activate the emergency system. Listen to the instructions provided by the emergency medical dispatcher. Paramedics and, if needed, additional resources will be sent to your emergency. Get help fast!

LOOK at the scene for any hazards and if safe approach the scene and asses the victims. How many are there? What’s happened? Do not move victims unless they are in immediate life-threatening danger.

START the BREATHING – if a person is not awake and not breathing you will have to start their breathing. Taking a CPR or First Aid course will show you how to use barrier devices and proper techniques to prevent further injury but do what you can. Compression only CPR can easily be done by any one regardless of age.

STOP the BLEEDING – if there are any wounds, wearing gloves, apply direct firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. Maybe you have a first aid kit in your car with more supplies. Cover the person with a warm blanket and keep them calm.

In case of an emergency, we take for granted that help will arrive as quickly as we place the call to 9-1-1. In the City of Prince Albert, there are residential street addresses and the phone you are call from will display the address from where you are calling. But in the rural areas it is not that easy. You may know where you live but, in an emergency, can you describe it to someone else? Take the time to write down your name, phone number, legal land location and directions of how to get to your residence. Paste this information by the phone so it is easily accessible and can be read by anyone to emergency services.

Injuries related to vehicle collisions are the number one cause of preventable injuries in Saskatchewan. What you do to prevent collisions and the actions you take to help others will make a difference. A few simple tips we take for granted can include wear a seat belt; have children buckled securely in car seats; eliminate the use of cellular phones while driving; plan ahead and be prepared for emergencies. Knowing what to do in an emergency can make the world of difference. Learn CPR and First Aid – let us show you how. Call for more information!

Getting around town in the winter cold


If you have not already, maybe you are planning to or else wish you would have, gone on a winter vacation. Traveling to Mexico, the southern USA, or further can break up the winter. We all want to escape the cold winter of the Prairies.

While winter on the Prairies is cold, snowy and often dreary, we still need to get around. Whether it is a simple task of out for groceries or the children’s activities, we often need to start the vehicle, brush off the snow and trudge out into the cold. Getting around during winter month’s as it challenges but a collision might be avoided following a few simple tips.

•   See and be seen! Make sure you keep your windows free of ice and snow. With automatic headlights, turn your lights on manually so that your tail lights illuminate, and you can be seen.
•   Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Road conditions can be slippery, or snow covered. A little extra time means you will reduce your speed and remain in control of the vehicle.
•   With reduced daylight in the morning hours watch for pedestrians especially children who might walk to school.
•   Lots of snow often creates snow ridges at intersections. Pedestrians don’t assume you will be seen and don’t assume vehicles will stop safely. Take your time when crossing. Walking is safer than running. If there is a snow ridge and you can not see on coming traffic, then they also might not see you. Look before you cross. Motorists please slow down especially near crosswalks and intersections.
•   Check highway conditions, check media reports for weather and plan your “road” trips accordingly. While weather can change in an instant, if its bad maybe staying home is a better choice. If the roads are bad and you are involved in a collision paramedic also must brave those road conditions to get to your emergency.
•   Frostbite to face, fingers or toes can often be prevented by simply dressing for the weather. Toques, mittens, scarves and good winter boots are essential to managing in a Saskatchewan winter. On a minus forty day exposed skin can freeze in minutes leading to ugly red spots on exposed skin.
•   Many people embrace winter by skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or simply going for a walk. What ever your outdoor activity remember to wear the gear; stay on the trails; have a buddy; let others know where you are going and when you will be back; be prepared for an emergency with items such as those to possibly build a fire.
•   It is never too late to pack winter gear into your vehicle. Safely stowed, a blanket, shovel, safety kit or first aid kit, can be an essential and important set of tools.
•   If you become stranded car breaks down for example, stay with your vehicle. You have shelter and while there might be a residence close by walking across unknown terrain might cause injury to you.

There is always an opportunity to simply go to the movies or stay home with pets watch TV and read a good book. No matter where your winter travels take you be safe, have fun and enjoy! February is Heart Month. Parkland Ambulance Care is encouraging everyone to learn CPR and know where an AED is. For more information call us for details!

Safely Handling and Disposing of Medications


All medicines, whether prescription or purchased over-the-counter, are dangerous if used improperly. They can be potentially poisonous to people of all ages. Yet many of us leave medications unsecured; treat medication as ‘candy’; set medications out with our meal so we don’t forget not realizing that the multi-colored pills might be picked up by a small child.

Vitamins, supplements, aspirin and many other over-the-counter remedies, as well as prescriptions medicines, should be purchased with child-resistant closures and stored securely. Here are some other best practices for handling medicine safely.

• Do not store medications, prescription or non-prescription in a location that could easily be accessed by a child. These include night stands, purses, kitchen table or easily accessed cupboard.
• Do not separate the medication from its original container. Capsules and tablets may look alike but have totally different effects. It’s not in the original container it is not safe to use.
• You can take unwanted or expired to your pharmacist for safe disposal.
• Do not take someone else’s medications.
• Complete all medications as per the instructions on the bottle or until told to discontinue it by your family doctor.
• Store medications in a cool dry location that limits exposure to light.
• If the medication is expired such as a cold medication, do not use. It is quite possibly ineffective or even dangerous.
• Personal care products, vitamins, cosmetics and general first aid supplies are also potentially dangerous in the hands of a child. Keep these stored safely.
• Follow the instructions printed on the container for all over-the-counter medications. Take one or two extra is a recipe for disaster.
• Read warning labels that state things like “May cause drowsiness” or “Do not combine with alcohol” as these warnings are for your safety

Clean out the cupboard, medicine cabinet or bathroom closet of any unused, outdated, and expired medications on a regular basis. Dispose of them safely by simply collecting them all to take to your local pharmacy.
We often think the “medications” are only those prescribed by your doctor but vitamins and other herbal supplements can also be hazardous. Make a point of speaking to your pharmacist about all medications both over the counter, prescription and herbal so that combinations that could possibly be bad for you can be avoided. Your pharmacist can help you make safe choices but also record this information in your health record for future reference.
As parents and care givers currently struggle to source pain and fever medications, compounding pharmacies might be an alternative for you. Visit one near you, we have some in our city that may be able to help. It’s flu season and your local pharmacy maybe able to help with flu or other vaccinations too!
Switching gears, we want to remind everyone that our wrapped up for the holidays program is underway. Please drop of blankets, winter coats and other winter gear, at our location or at our partners the Gateway Mall, CTV, and Anderson Motors. We want to keep those in need warm, safe, and dry this winter. With your support we will do just that!

Planning for winter includes making your vehicle ready too!


It’s never fun if your vehicle lets you down, but it can be downright miserable or even dangerous if it happens on a cold winter day. Just as we’ve cleaned our windows and raked up the leaves in preparation for winter, so too should your car be winterized. Here are a few things you should know about “winterizing” your vehicle:
Winter tires: Make sure you have a good set of winter tires. They’ll improve traction, but if they are severely worn, you’ll have trouble braking, accelerating, and handling, especially on slippery roads. Many people opt for “all-season” tires. Depending on your local climate, they can be an adequate compromise for average year-round weather conditions but won’t perform as well as genuine winter tires in the worst ice and snow. Whatever you choose, buy them before winter arrives.
Exhaust system: Be sure to check the muffler and exhaust pipes for leaks and for their general condition each fall. Corrosion or perforations in the exhaust system can permit leakage of lethal carbon monoxide fumes into the passenger compartment. When there’s snow on the roads, ensure your exhaust tailpipe isn’t obstructed by it when starting the engine, and never back into snowbanks.
Tire pressure: Since traction is compromised when driving on ice or snow, the correct tire pressure is critical. Properly inflated tires ensure good contact with the road and protect the wheels from pothole damage. Your owner’s manual should list the recommended pressures.
Wipers and washer fluid: Typically, there is reduced visibility in winter due to reduced daylight, snow, and ice. In most parts of Canada, wiper blades last one year before needing replacement and sooner if damaged. If you live where there is lots of ice and snow during the winter, you should consider investing in wipers made specifically for winter.
During the winter months it is best to use windshield washer fluid made for colder temperatures to avoid further reduction in visibility. Also check your reservoir on a regular basis before heading out. Before the season starts, assemble the things you would need if stuck somewhere on a remote winter road. Include all the usual emergency things, but you should also have extra items for the longer trips.
The things you should always have in your car during winter.
Blankets and extra clothing
Booster cables
Sandbags or Traction pads
Scraper and brush
Matches and candles
First aid kit
Tow rope
Chocolate bars-they won’t spoil, and they provide food in an emergency
Tire chains kitty litter works great
Crowbar and other small hand tools
Whether it’s a short shopping trip out of town or a longer excursion, be prepared for winter emergencies and don’t wait till the snow on the ground tells us all winter is here. Taking a first aid course is a great way to learn how to be prepared and what to do in an emergency. November is CPR Month. We encourage everyone to get some training. A certified course our just the basics. Give us a call today! Statistics say that 40% of all injuries reduced by people taking a first aid course. Protect yourself, your family and fellow co-workers. Be safe!

Trick or Treat!


In a few short weeks little, and even large, ghosts or goblins will be visiting your door. Halloween is that fun time when we can wear costumes, celebrating the season! But making Halloween a safe time for all little visitors is essential. Here’s what you can do:

Plan a route with your children so you know where they are always. Set a time to return home.
Children follow that route – don’t take short cuts through back alleys or unlit parks.
Children over nine should always go out as a group or have adult supervision. Younger children should always be supervised.
Children visit houses that are well lit and never go inside the house.
The temptation to dart across the street “for better treats” on the other side is great but always cross at the corner and look both ways before crossing the street.
Motorists, please slow down in residential areas and be alert for the goblins running around.
Parents it might be a good idea to sew some reflective fabric to any costume.
Children should always carry a flashlight and in case of an emergency a whistle to signal for help.
Be aware of strangers!
Pick a costume that has bright fabrics so that the child can be seen.
Avoid costumes that are long with loose sleeves, pants or skirts. Check to see that the costume is flame resistant.
Avoid carrying props such as a sword, knife or gun. It is one more thing to carry and might be mistaken for the real thing.
Make sure each goblin wears proper footwear and dresses according to the weather.
Consider face paint or make-up instead of a mask so that the child can see clearly. If the child is wearing a wig, hat or scarf make sure it is secured tightly – they can see and ear too!
If decorating your yard or house avoid pumpkins with candles instead consider a flashlight or electric light.
Pets will be excited as guests come to the door. Consider placing them in a room out of harms way.
If the weather is bad, make sure to keep steps and walkways free from debris.
Instead of trick or treaty consider a neighborhood party for the children complete with games, treats and scary videos.
Instead of giving away candy use stickers, trading cards, activity sheets, gift certificates or other creative items.
Make sure that the children do not eat any of the treats until they are examined by an adult. Throw out any unwrapped items, has torn or loose packaging or that appears to have small holes in the wrappers. Don’t let children eat homemade treats unless you know the source who provided them.

Halloween is supposed to a fun time. Don’t let an incident like a fall ruin the day. For those adults choosing to celebrate Halloween either at one of the local bars or during a house party at home, make sure you plan a safe ride home. Have a designated driver or take a taxi. Have a safe Halloween night!

Winter weather is upon us, time to get your winter snow tires, find your scraper, extra blankets and other safety gear. Get ready with mittens, toques and boots too! Don’t wait till the snow flies start getting ready now!

Halloween 101


It is really neat to see so many folks getting their homes ready for Halloween. The decorations, spooky sounds and of course treats signal that mysterious day or the official “candy day.” If you are one of those folks getting your home ready here are a few tips to make you spooky castle look its best but also be a safe haven for the ghosts and goblins who will be visiting.

If your decorations involve lights and blow up decorations, please use proper outdoor extension cords and do not overload your electrical circuits. Be sure this are anchored down securely so they don’t blow out into traffic yet be stolen by a witch or two! If hanging things from the house or trees, use ladders safely and with the help of family and friends, are sure someone is holding the ladder for added safety. While the spooky nature of Halloween includes scaring visitors, be sure those who need to get to your home can safely. The young trick and treaters need to see the steps of the home so they don’t become injured getting to and from your residence. Should the weather turn cold and snowy keep your sidewalks free of ice and snow so no one trips or slips. Decorations might include carving the pumpkin. Moms and dads sharp objects like a knife can be dangerous. Please also consider lighting the pumpkin with a flashlight vs. a candle in case it does get dumped over and potentially might start a fire.

With any luck you’ve got an idea of what you might like to be for Halloween. Whether you are an adult who has the chance to dress up at work or someone whose dressing up for a day at school be sure your costume lets you see and hear. Adults never should drive wearing a costume, this is asking for a collision to happen and children walking to/from school might not be able to see/hear at crosswalks. It is so easy to grab some old clothes, face paints and makeup to make a really cool costume without spending much money. The key to safety in any costume is so that the person wearing it can see and hear; the costume is also not too long that they might trip over it. Avoid props like a sword or cane because in the excitement of carrying a treat bag combined with a prop it is only asking for a trip, slip or fall. BE sure the costume is bright with something reflective on it and light that should the weather be cold it can be pulled over top of something warm. Have the little ghost and goblins carry a flashlight with them. There is strength in numbers so never go out alone! Anything you can add to make the costume reflective will make the child seen by traffic.

The excitement of going for treats might lead children to cross the street as friends yell out the better treats on the block. Motorists need to remember on Halloween day slowdown in residential areas and children please cross at the corners, looking both ways before you cross the street. The whole Halloween exercise includes gathering treats but moms and dads please go through the treat bag before your child starts picking out their favorite. Unless you can verify the source of the treat such as puffed wheat cake from grandma all unwrapped treats should be thrown away. It is great to not consume all that candy at once spreading it out. But consider healthy treats too! Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Thanksgiving weekend brings food, family, and fun together, but remember to be safe

Next weekend is the Thanksgiving long weekend, usually a great time of family, fun and plenty of food. But what are you thankful for this weekend?

The men and women of Parkland Ambulance, the paramedics and communications personnel will be ready to help you any weekend. Their expertise will certainly be called upon to assist someone in need. We hope that won’t be you, but in the weekend of giving thanks, should you need emergency medical assistance, we will be there!

Twenty-four hours a day, weekends, holidays and evenings, these dedicated, courageous and giving people bring essential medical care right to your door. Usually we reserve the greeting for the end, but from all our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and have a great long weekend.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a great turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie for desert. Oh wait, almost forgot real whip cream not that spray foam stuff for the pie! I know you either love pumpkin pie or you don’t. But in the midst of stuffing ourselves be sure you remember some food safety tips:

• Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

• It is easier to reheat at the destination rather trying to keep the meal hot as you travel to a family residence this weekend

• Be sure you ensure that food, especially poultry, is properly cooked. Meat at the bone should not be pink and juices should flow clear.

• Put away left overs as soon as possible before parking yourself on the couch for a nap

Do you know what to do if someone was choking? It’s not difficult but back blows, chest thrusts or abdominal thrusts (any combination of two) will relieve the obstruction. Be prepared just in case – don’t panic and you might just save someone’s life. Learn first aid!

Most meals will involve some alcohol but with a beer in one hand and turkey drumstick in the other you might need a paramedic if you are choking. To recognize someone who might be choking they cannot speak, they look frightened and usually push away from the table with an ineffective cough. You need to act fast as they are not breathing. Lean them forward and give several sharp back blows across their shoulder blades. Then reach around their stomach while you stand behind them and give several inward pulls into their stomach. Keep repeating till the object comes out. You should be successful in the first few tries but be persistent. Time is ticking, you need to act quickly or the next house guest won’t need dinner, he’ll be a paramedic summoned to help!

It is never too late to start thinking of yes, winter. I’ll be it we had a great summer; it is not if but when it will snow. Getting the furnace checked, test carbon monoxide detectors and tidy up the yard is some of those fall essentials. Carbon Monoxide detectors are now mandatory in all homes. But start thinking about your vehicle, before the rush, do you need winter tires? What about extra blankets, winter safety kit and a shovel. But then again where are the toques, mitts and winter coats? Now is the time vs. scrambling to find things the first time it does snow.

One final comment is the fall is a busy activity time. With hockey, volleyball, gymnastics or other indoor sports, the risk of injury is present just as it is outdoors.

The biggest single injury is that of a concussion. Any, I mean any blow to the head from a slip, trip, and fall, collision with another player or fixed object can cause a concussion.

It is not as simple as sitting the player out for a couple shifts or a period; it requires assessment by a physician, plenty of rest then a gradual return to exercise and competition depending on the severity of injury. Get the facts and make sure we don’t rush the return to play because we need to win the game. It isn’t about winning; it’s about having fun and getting that healthy exercise we, all need more of. 

Putting your best foot forward


Moms and Dad’s are excited while children are apprehensive; it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s Back to School time! Hundreds of children will walk to and from school every day – slow down to posted speed limit in all school zones. Hey, it’s a pretty good rule to follow in all residential areas where children are playing.

Children under the age of nine often have not developed the skills necessary to cross the street safely by themselves. Their sight, hearing, height, perception, and mental development are not the same as adults, and this decreases their ability to make safe judgments about traffic. Children, from an early age, need to learn how to cross a street safely, through repetition and encouragement. A child under the age of nine should always be accompanied adults or older children whenever they cross the street.

So how do we teach children to cross a street safely?

Stop at the corner.
Never cross between parked cars – if there is a marked crosswalk always use it even if it is a little further down the street.
If the corner is supervised by school patrollers – always obey their instructions.
Look left then look right for vehicles that maybe approaching.
Make eye contact with drivers so you know that they see you and they know that you see them.
Make sure cars come to a complete stop before you start to cross the road.
Walk, don’t run as you cross the street and continue to look both ways as you cross.

Many children will be riding the school bus to and from school each day. A few simple reminders can make their ride a safe one too!

Stay back from the designated bus stop – off the road and out of approaching traffic.
If waiting in line, wait quietly no pushing or shoving.
Make sure that the bus driver can see you.
Wait till the bus driver activates the warning lights and flashing stop arm – In the City of Prince Albert school busses do not use the flashing red lights and stop arm (Bylaw 54 of 1983), so always stop when a school bus is loading or unloading.
While on the bus do not yell and shout.
Never walk around while the bus is moving.
When you leave the bus – walk at least 3 meters (10 feet) in front of the bus so you can be seen and stop look both ways before going to the opposite side of the street.

Whether our children walk to school or ride the bus, a few extra safety precautions can make the difference. Remember to buckle up while riding in a vehicle. Parents – just because school has started doesn’t mean your child needs to be removed from his or her booster seat. Many children might ride in a booster seat till at least age nine. It’s all about height and weight.
It is law in Saskatchewan that children must use a booster until age 7 or weigh 36 kgs. (80 lbs.) AND stand 145 cm (4’9”) tall. Children will be safer if they continue to use a booster beyond the legal requirement, until the seat belt fits them properly.
Don’t be surprised when your son or daughter says, “How come my friends don’t ride in a car seat?” Everyone is a different height and weight. All vehicles and car seats are different too!
Welcome back to school. Have a great school year!

Back to school safety reminders


Once again school bells will call children back to school for another year. It is a busy time when the “dog days” of summer have passed and we set our routine to the return of school. For first time school children or those returning for another year it is time to brush up on some safety tips. We hate to be the bearer of this bad news when the weather is awesome, but school returns in a few short weeks.

Traveling to and from school is one of the most dangerous activities because children lack the supervision from the parents or teachers. In a hurry children might forget the basic rules and dart out into traffic. Motorists need to slow down through school zones and be alert for children crossing.

Motorists – School zones have a 30 km/hr speed zone marked by a florescent yellow sign. Please obey the posted speed limit for the school zone you are in Slow down and watch for children crossing.
Motorists – take a few extra minutes traveling to work if you regularly travel past a school or in a residential area. Children will be walking to and from school, excited to renew old friendships and maybe running a bit behind. Sometimes children forget the rules of the road.
Motorists – if you must use a cellular telephone while in your vehicle get a hands-free device or pull or to the side to make that important call. A moment’s inattention might be cause for a collision with a pedestrian. Such incidents are avoidable and preventable. SGI statistics say your 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash texting while driving.
Moms and dads always try and drop your child off on the school side of the street. This avoids trying to get across the very busy streets around many schools.
Children – cross only at the corner. Look both ways before walking out into the road. Make sure that you see the oncoming traffic and they can see you too! Wave to the driver of the vehicle as you cross. A big SUV still might have trouble seeing you cross. Be seen!
Children – always use cross walks and intersections that have a school patroller present. These special roadway markings ensure that you can cross safely. Always obey the instructions given by the school patroller. For areas without a school patroller or marked crosswalk, cross with care.
Children – walk on the sidewalk and ride your bike on the street in the direction of traffic. If must ride on the sidewalk, please yield to pedestrians walking. Don’t forget to wear the gear like helmets for bikes, scooters, and skateboards. Additional gear like wrist guards, knee pads or elbow pads may also be required.
Children – when playing in the playground watch for sharp objects, dangerous equipment or garbage. Report any hazards to a parent or teachers supervising the playgrounds. Never attempt to pick up sharp objects.
Children – if a ball is accidentally lost over the playground fence, STOP and LOOK BOTH WAYS before running out into the street before trying to retrieve it.
Back to school is an exciting time. Practice safety each and every day. Remember the rules of the road and obey all signs and signals. Motorists, please watch for children on bikes, skateboards scooters or on foot. Our children’s safety depends on your attention to safe operation of a motor vehicle. If back to school for you is a new job or career opportunity that might need first aid, consider taking a class with us. Give us a call at 306-953-8350 to register.

Prepared for an Emergency


I don’t know about you, but there sure has been some wacky summer weather. From thunderstorms to tornados and hail, it’s been a summer of excitement. The potential for forest fires, flooded city streets and power outages, urge us all to be aware to fast changing conditions.

You need to:
know your home exits and the location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical box, gas valve and floor drain
choose a meeting place for your family members (one close to your home and one outside of your neighbor hood in the event of an evacuation)
have a designated person to pick up your children if you are unable
have close and out-of-town contact persons
know personal health information
arrange a place for your pet to stay

Develop an emergency plan so everyone will know what to do and where to go if there is an emergency. Once you have an emergency plan, make sure everyone in your home knows it well and has access to a copy. The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada website has an online tool to help you prepare a plan in about twenty minutes.

Your home should also have an emergency kit with all the supplies you and your family need to survive for 72 hours during or after an emergency. Store the kit in easy to carry duffle bags or backpacks, in a location that is easy to access. Make sure everyone in the household knows where it is. Do you subscribe to any alert apps like those from the Sask Alert?

Your emergency kit should contain the following basic items:
Water – at least two litres of water per person, per day
Food that won’t spoil, (canned or dried food, energy bars)
Manual can-opener
Flashlight and batteries
Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in sturdy containers and put them out before going to sleep)
Battery-powered or wind-up radio (and extra batteries)
First aid kit: Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities
Babies/toddlers supplies: diapers, bottled milk, formula and food, toys, crayons and paper
Extra keys for your car and house
Cash in smaller bills ($10 bills) and chargers for cell phones
Copies of important papers (personal documents such as identification for everyone, insurance papers, deed to your property)
A copy of your emergency plan, including contact information

In the event of a disaster, emergency medical response may be delayed because of the remoteness of your home or by adverse conditions, such as roads blocked by floodwater or debris. While precious minutes slip by, your emergency training could mean the difference between life and death. Properly administered first aid or CPR can help stabilize an injured or ailing family member until help arrives. Make sure at least one family member is trained in first aid and CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. Call Parkland Ambulance 953-8350 for upcoming courses.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Planning and preparing today for emergencies that may occur in the future, are preventive steps that will help keep people protected and safe in their homes and in the workplace during an emergency.

Stay safe while enjoying the sun

Summer is here! The hot weather has brought outdoors to enjoy activities and the company of family and friends. While outdoors don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and plenty of water to drink. While we are all hopefully enjoying a summer break, don’t forget to keep safety in mind.

For some being at the cabin involves a bit of work. If using power tools please do so safely and never use near small curious children. It only takes a fraction of a second to have serious injury occur. It is a good idea to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your cottage as well. Don’t forget the camper or motor home could also use them. If you are using anything like a generator, please ensure adequate ventilation and keep leaves and debris, things that could catch fire, clear from the generator. This week is National Drowning Prevention week. Heading to the beach or the backyard pool is a staple of summer life, but supervision of children is always a must. On a crowded beach it’s easy to lose sight of your child. Prevention a tragedy by always keeping an eye on them. Don’t forget that life jackets or personal flotation devices are a must when on the boat.

The fire pit is a great gathering point and a great place to build many memories but make sure you build one to keep the fire contained. Always have a shovel and pail of water nearby. Never head for bed or a boat ride, leaving the fire unattended. Always ensure your fire is out when you call it lights out!

Wacky weather can occur at any moment, hopefully only leaving us wet from the rain. Keep an eye to the sky and have mobile apps like Sask Alert, turned on your mobile device to receive those important alerts. If you seen potentially bad weather take shelter. In your home, head to the basement in places such as your bathroom tub covered with a blanket. When no basement exists find the center of the home, away from windows and doors such as possibly your closet. On the lake try to get to shore as quickly and as safely as possible and find any available shelter. Never seek shelter under a tree as the tree itself might be struck by lightening or fall upon you.

Summer is the time to enjoy going for a walk. Anyone of us might get separated from the rest of the group or young children might wonder off on their own adventures. If you become lost in the woods, hug a tree. This term asks you to stay where you are at and seek immediate shelter. Wondering around only creates a larger opportunity to become disorientated or travel further away from your intended destination. Stay right where you are! You should always carry a whistle and garbage bag with you when out for a hike. Of course, water, good footwear and a first aid kit are not bad ideas either. Why a garbage bag? It is small and compact for a pocket but can easily be made into a rain poncho to stay dry. A whistle is heard for a greater distance than the human voice allowing you to signal for help! Incidents can happen that may result in injury. Being prepared with a first aid kit, whistle, or other items can become very useful. Whether you are out for a walk, on the boat skiing or fishing, lounging in a chair watching the kids at the beach or backyard pool or at last getting those “projects” taken care of, please wear the gear. Be safe and have a great summer! For more information on any of the topics presented in this article contact Parkland Ambulance Care at 306-953-8358.

Stay safe while out on the water


Ah summer time! A chance to relax, unwind, spend time with family or friends or just catch up on some reading with a good book.

Many of us will spend a lazy afternoon fishing on the lake or towing the kids while they water ski. Boating is one of those activities that go with summer.

In Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard through their office of boating safety has brought in regulations designed to improve your safety while navigating Canadian waterways. Since 1999 these phased in regulations mean that many of us have had to obtain our pleasure craft operator’s card. If you went boating today here are the rules:

Are you born after April 1, 1983?
Do you operate a power vessel less than 4 meters in length, including personal watercraft?

If you answered yes to either of these questions before you put the boat or personal watercraft in the water today, you need to get a card or else you are operating the craft illegally and subject to penalty. Also, youth under 16 even if they have a card are not able to operate a personal watercraft aka a jet ski! So how do I get “the card?” There are many online resources available, check them out!

Today, there are two types of floatation devices. Your standard life jacket is designed to not only keep you afloat but also to turn you face up if you fall into the water. These are orange, yellow or red and have a whistle attached. The have a “keyhole” design to fit over your head. Then we have personal floatation devices (PFD) which are inherently buoyant or inflatable. PFDs are the more common devices we have on board a boat. Wear while water skiing but hopefully never use as a seat cushion. Children’s PFDs should be comfortable yet snug. Never buy a large PFD for the child to grow into. Loose, ill-fitting PFDs are dangerous.
PFDs for children can have special safety features. You may want to look for the following additional features when selecting a PFD for your child:
Large collar for head support,
Sturdy, rust-proof zipper,
Draw string,
Waist ties or elastic gathers in front and back,
Safety strap that goes between the legs to prevent the PFD from slipping over the child’s head,
Buckle on safety straps and reflective tape, attach a sound-signaling device (whistle) to your child’s PFD zipper for added safety.
Hey and don’t forget one for your pet too!
In Canada, 73% of all drownings happen because the person was not wearing a life jacket. So, what’s your excuse? We all make excuses such as they are too hot, too uncomfortable, don’t fit or the best one is in an emergency I’ll be able to put it on. There is no excuse for not wearing a PFD or life jacket. Make it a standard practice to wear it before getting into the boat till the time you arrive back on shore. Make sure everyone who boards the boat has a proper PFD or life jacket that is approved and fits them correctly. Be Responsible!
Don’t allow a person who has consumed alcohol to operate a boat.
Provide non-alcoholic beverages for boat operators and passengers.
Wear lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). It’s the law to carry one that fits each person in the vessel, but Parkland Ambulance recommends wearing it every trip, for the whole trip.
If you have a backyard pool, supervise your children. Have some safety equipment near by should there be an emergency. Take precautions to protect your pool with a fence so that when you are absent from home, others don’t access the pool. While talking pools, many will head to the public beach for summer fun. Keep an eye on your children! A moment of inattention such as using your phone or reading could be tragic.
Have a safe summer! Don’t let the tragedy we hear be one that involves you or your family. Be safe around any body of water this summer!

Summer Tips


For many of us vacation is just around the corner. Lake time, family time and just catching up around the house. While the hustle and bustle of everyday life is replaced with a more leisurely pace, we should still all be safety conscious. A moment of inattention can produce devastating results.

Children who were babies last year may be excellent climbers now and parents should keep in mind that although toddlers love to look out windows, they don’t understand the risks of falling. Parents can still enjoy having the windows open in the summer while keeping their children safe by using safety devices.  Parents can install a window guard, sold at hardware stores and some department stores, and safety specialty stores.  This forms a barrier, like security bars, but lighter weight and closely spaced.  They need to have a quick-release mechanism to allow for fire escape. A window screen is only good for keeping the bugs out it is not strong enough to hold the weight of a child.

There are different types of window safety devices that parents can use to keep their children from falling out of the window.  Parents can also install a window safety device, which stops the window from opening more than 10 centimeters (four inches).  A child cannot fall through this small space.  A wide variety of devices are available.  A simpler measure could include using screws in the window frame to prevent the window from opening more than 10 centimeters.  If parents cannot use window guards, it is important to keep furniture away from windows – as well as balcony railings – to prevent young children from climbing up and falling.

Don’t Leave Kids or Pets in Hot Cars. The inside of a car can heat up quickly to temperatures that could hurt or kill a child or family pet. The temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50°C (122°F) within 10-20 minutes on a typical sunny summer day in Canada. Within minutes, it will get so hot that a child inside the car could die. Opening the window slightly does not keep the temperature at a safe level.

Young children-especially infants-are three to five times more sensitive to heat than adults. Young children have small body sizes and do not regulate their body temperatures as quickly as adults. Rising temperatures inside a car can cause a child to suffer from heat stress, dehydration and even shock.

To keep children safe in cars this summer:
Never leave a child alone in a car-even with the windows down.
Always lock car doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach. Your child or someone else’s child could get into the car and get trapped.
Ensure all children leave the car when you have reached your destination. Remember to remove sleeping infants and children in car seats.
If your car has been parked outside on a hot day, make sure the car seat and seat belts are not too hot before buckling your children in the car.
Carry plenty of water or other fluids when traveling with children to prevent them from dehydrating.
Sun screen and hats are important pieces of the summer season

Of course, life jackets and a buddy are important when out on the boat. So is the safety items like paddles, tow rope, horn and other safety gear.

Hot weather is not only hard on your vehicle but puts added stress on your body. Stay cool, take frequent rest breaks, drink plenty of fluids and try to be as comfortable as possible. To learn more about heat emergencies visit our web site at or take a first aid class to know what to do in a heat emergency.

It’s great to be Outdoors!


With the arrival of spring, we all want to be outdoors whether that’s going for a walk, hopping on a bicycle or simply working or playing in the yard, getting some exercise is essential. With the increased activity everyone needs to be reminded to be safe and practice safety in all our activities.

The number one cause of injury in the 5-9 year old age group is pedestrian injuries. Why? At this age they lack judgment and the perceptual skills to safely navigate intersections and streets. So what can we all do to prevent injury?

Motorists should reduce their speed especially in residential areas or near playground areas.
Teach your children to stop at driveways, alleys and areas without curbs and to never run out into the street.
Teach your children to cross at the corner by stopping to activate the pedestrian cross signals (if the exist), look both ways and listen for oncoming traffic. Wait and keep looking to ensure no vehicles are coming. When crossing the street to walk, don’t run and look the driver of the vehicle in the eye while they are in the crosswalk.
School patrollers should be respected and play an important role at school crossing intersections. Children should be taught to obey their directions.
Teach children to walk on the sidewalk, never on the street, but a far away from traffic as possible. If there are no sidewalks always walk facing traffic.
Teach children to never cross between parked cars.
Teach children that playing games around railway tracks or railway crossings can be deadly. The only safe way to cross a railway track is at the designated crossing.
Parents be a good role model as our children mimic what we see, so don’t cross in the middle of the block if you want your child to cross at the intersection.

With more activity outdoors, you might consider buying your children a swing, slide or other play apparatus. Follow a few of these simple guidelines will prevent injury incidents:

Start with equipment the children can use safely now vs. buying something they will grow into.
Falls from play equipment are a cause of injury: deep, soft surfaces underneath such as wood chips; keep heights low; ensure equipment has guard rails; children under five should avoid high equipment.
Swing seats should be made of rubber or soft seats.
Ensure equipment is firmly anchored to prevent it from tipping.
Take off any cords or strings that could strangle your child during play.
Always supervise a young child at water play.
Inspect your backyard playground regularly looking for signs of wear, cracks and ensure bolts are tight.

Any activity has some element of risk, knowing what to do in case of an emergency is important. Some incidents will require first aid and controlling bleeding is likely the number one incident. Firm direct pressure will stop most bleeding. Depending on the severity of the incident you might require stiches. Simple cuts and scrapes require a good cleaning and likely a simple dressing. Sprains/strains most likely ice and some rest. Knowing what to do and how to react is easy if you take a first aid course. For upcoming courses and dates call 306-953-8350. Our summer car seat clinics are back. These free no appointment clinics begin on June 22 beginning at 1030AM at the 6th Avenue Car Wash. Thank you to Shelly for being our summer hosts.

Plan a safe start to your summer


This week we celebrate the official start to summer, that being the May long weekend. While some lakes might still have ice on them, it is still great to leave the hectic schedule at home for a little less busy ‘lake life.’ As you open the cottage maybe for the first time this weekend, here are a few reminders.

•   Before building a fire in the fireplace, grab a flashlight and have a look up the chimney to make sure it is clear of any debris or leave a critter who might have built their nest.
•   Opening the storage shed for the first time, give it a chance to air out to before you venture in. Again, rodents might have built their home leaving feces behind that if it’s from a deer mouse, they might contain hantavirus.
•   If you are trimming back some trees, wear the gear such as gloves, safety glasses, proper footwear, and long pants. Earing protection and possibly even a hard hat when using a chain saw should be essential.
•   Dropping the boat into the water, make sure everyone who operates the craft has their pleasure craft operator’s card. The essentials i.e., paddles, tow rope, sound device, might vary from size of craft to size of craft. Know what you need for craft size.
•   Often the pontoon boats size is deceiving that we won’t tip thus why bother with life jackets. A properly fitted life jacket or personal floatation device must be always worn by every person. It’s a little late to try and find it when you are bobbing in the lake amongst the debris.
•   Building an outdoor fire is part of the lake life ritual but do so safely. Obey all local regulations or fire bans, if applicable. A good idea to have a pail of water and shovel near by just in case.

Please don’t be that guy or that gal who spends a great day at the lake or rushing to the lake from the city, while impaired. Save the booze for the deck not for the vehicle. Impairment can be with alcohol or other substances. Everyone is always so worried about being caught by the police. Most don’t think about the innocent lives of others when you are in a collision. Please don’t drink and drive or operate watercraft while impaired. The penalties are the same.

May 22-28 is Paramedic Services Week – Rising to the Challenge shows the incredible resilience of our teams. During the pandemic, our teams adapted and overcame many challenges to deliver the top-notch quality care. Paramedic has changed during the pandemic and will continue to evolve with new treatments, new or updated equipment and of course the important people, that make our team so successful. Our hard working, caring, empathetic, dedicated, and fun professionals do their very best each day for you. Follow our social media challenges, to learn more about being a paramedic, the educational requirements, career opportunities and professional requirements. When we rise to the challenge, our paramedic teams, are there for you! Happy Paramedic Services Week!

Make sure you have the right gear


With the snow gone the thoughts to outdoor activities takes on new meaning and gets families out enjoying the day. With any activity we at Parkland Ambulance Care want to encourage you to have a word with yourself. Sound strange? Before every activity run through a checklist in your head and make sure the right gear is part of the plan. Let me explain.

Headed out as a family for a bike ride parents insist that their children don a properly fitting bike helmet. Though many parents themselves choose not to wear one. Does that set a bad example? Is it possible that moms and dads won’t fall from their bike? Bike helmets significantly reduce the risk of a serious head injury. As Ron Horn, From Fresh Air Experience was explaining to me this past weekend, new technology gives you even more protection to the back of the head. Cycling is a great activity but wear the gear and a helmet is one piece. Learn and practice the rules of the road too! How old is your cycling helmet? They need to be replaced every few years.

Spring means a time to hit the trails or create a new trail while we operate ATV. But operating an ATV whether for fun or in the farm yard to do chores comes with some attention to safety as well. Wearing a helmet, gloves, goggles, long pants, good footwear and no alcohol are things we need to be aware of. Knowing the terrain is essential but part of the fun as folks might try to bury through a mud bog. An ATV still can tip if the angle is too steep or it is easy to lose control if the bank or trail suddenly gives way.

With the lakes opening up, many people can hardly wait to drop the boat into the water either for fishing or recreational activities like water skiing. Every activity on the water whether canoeing, kayaking, fishing in a small boat or being pulled along wake boarding requires one common piece of equipment, a life jacket. These are not seat cushions, nor are they meant to be put on in an emergency as if you were on evacuation from an airplane, a life jacket is meant to be worn each and every time you are on the water in the boat.

Don’t think you’ll have time to put it on before the boat capsizes. Someone or something might prevent that from happening. Nor will you be able to swim to shore. In case your boat capsizes, stay with the vessel as the cold water will be more than enough to contend with.

Knowing what to do in an emergency is essential as having a word with yourself. Understand that every activity comes with some element of risk but if we can minimize the risk but doing simple things we can and will often save our lives.

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week where we focus attention to getting prepared. From planning a road trip to visit family, to working in the yard or getting ready for a busy farming season, there is always an element of preparation.

For example, we make sure the vehicle is full of fuel, we brought the right gear and didn’t forget anything at home. But what about a simple first aid kit? If you were traveling in unfamiliar area and something happened where you need to call for help, can you describe your location.

Dry brush around the yard, fallen trees from winter or a general yard clean up, lessen the degree of a grass fire in a rural area. If faced with an evacuation from home, what would you take, where would you go, all things to consider. The Government of Canada has a great web site where there is a lot of great resources. Don’t delay get prepared today. Be Safe!

Whether it’s bikes, boards, or blades, helmets are vital

Well the warmer weather is bringing families out of hibernation to enjoy spring and soon summer. Cycling, skateboarding or roller blades are a great way to get out doors. Some easy to follow tips can prevent injuries. Dryer streets and paths are encouraging us all to get outdoors!


• Choose a bicycle helmet for bike riding, in-line skating, and scooter riding.

• Skateboard riders need a special skateboarding helmet which covers more of the back of the head.

• Make sure the helmet meets safety standards such as CSA, CPSC, Snell or ASTM.

• Replace any helmet that has been in a crash.


• Have your child shake their head from side to side and from front to back. The helmet should NOT move around when they shakes their head.

• Make sure the helmet is level on your child’s head.

• Teach your child to check the helmet fit every time.

• Try the helmet on your child’s head before you buy it.

• Helmets are sold with foam pads that attach to the inside of the helmet. Try different pads until the helmet fits firmly on your child’s head.

• The helmet should cover the top of the forehead and should rest about 2 fingers’ width above the eyebrows.

• Adjust the side straps so that they fit snugly around your child’s ears in a “V”shape. The buckles on the side strap should fit right under the ear.

• Buckle the chin strap. Tighten it until you can only fit one finger between the strap and your child’s chin.

• Remove anything that could change the way a helmet fits, such as baseball caps, big hair clips and headphones.

Head injuries are the leading cause of serious injury and death to kids on wheels. A helmet could save your child’s life! Be sure they wear a helmet every time they ride. Children under 10 should not ride their bicycles on the road. They do not have the physical and thinking skills to handle their bikes safely in traffic. Children over 10 need to practice before they can ride on the road.


• They ride or skate near cars and traffic

• They do not use safety gear

• They are beginners and just learning how to ride or skate

• They go too fast or try stunts


Your child should be able to:

• Keep his balance

• Control his speed

• Ride or skate in a straight line

• Turn without losing control or falling

• Stop without losing control or falling

• Notice other people or things, and avoid running into them

• Check over his shoulder without losing control

Take off your child’s helmet before he plays on equipment. It could get caught and cause your child to be strangled. Remember: You are your child’s best role model. Everyone should wear a helmet when they ride or skate. We thank Parachute Canada for providing us with some of the information for this article. It’s time to take the bike out of the garage, check it’s condition and start to get ready for a safe season. Wearing the gear, obeying the rules of the road and practice will make your child a safe cyclist. Bikes, boards or blades it’s the helmet that’s important.

Is it really spring in Prince Albert?


While out for a walk this weekend, I noticed a sure sign that spring must be coming, a pair of geese went flying by. I am certain they are a bit confused as are we with what to do with all this snow. Ball teams are planning tryouts and some are even practicing indoors. What a strange spring it is starting out to be.

Just one brief reminder to make sure to push, pull, and blow or drag as much snow as you can away from your house. A rapid warm spell will signal melting and the word is out, Prince Albert and area might see some flooding. Don’t wait till the water has encircled your home to make some plans.

With the extended day light hours, everyone is trying their best to get outside for some exercise. I’ve seen runners, walkers and the odd cyclist enjoying the outdoors but with still many large ridges of snow, motorists and cyclists need to share the road ways. Often when a pedestrian and vehicle collide we sometimes think the motorist was to blame. While that may be true the opposite can also be true. Just as we would teach younger children who walk home after school to use pedestrian crosswalks and signals or obey the instructions of school patrollers, we ourselves must heed the same advice.

Some basic simple rules when crossing the street not only include the previously mentioned but also crossing at corners and not in the middle of the block. Stop, look both ways and when safe then make your way across the street. Wait for the proper hand signal or green light to cross a busy intersection. My favorite is pushing the walk button multiple times thinking the more times I push the sooner the walk signal will be displayed.

Walk in opposite direction of traffic, if walking in the early morning hours or later in the evening, and wear something reflective or with bright colours. While the calendar says spring, the ice means proper footwear and for those persons with mobility issues using a walker, cane or other device to safely navigate the streets.

As motorists we need to watch out for pedestrians. You wouldn’t expect them along a busy street to pop out in the middle of the intersection, though they might, crossing at the corner is where you’ll likely see pedestrians. When approaching an intersection, if pedestrians are present, give them the opportunity to cross and be patient especially if the road appears slippery. In residential areas please slow down to watch for pedestrians and pets outside. It is time for motorists to think spring and with spring you can expect a lot more people out walking trying to dodge puddles and snow to get exercise.

Lots of local businesses have got their bicycles already out for sale. Moms and dads now is a great time to pull the bike from hiding in the garage. While it might not be cycle weather check the fit, check the bicycle and make any needed repairs for a great summer ahead. Spring is coming, so pedestrians and motorists need to share the road.

Spring Forward


The weather has started to get us excited that maybe, just maybe spring could be upon us.

Puddles, potholes, and ice, lots of ice, have been creating trouble on our commutes for the last few days. The sidewalk may be your best friend now as we all need to keep our sidewalks free of ice. Is this melting going to stay or just tease us for a potential early spring? Your guess is as good as mine, but spring does officially arrive March 20, so we best get ready.

Should you expect flooding in your local area? Now is the time, even in the city, to take a stroll around the property and check.

Is the water draining away from the foundation of your home? Are the drainpipes attached at your house? With all the winter snow, it’s time to move some. Consider making sure you try to get the bulk of it at least 6 feet away from the house.

Those living in the rural areas potential maybe seeing poor road conditions or potential for flooding. What’s the plan if your regular route home is blocked? Do you have a secondary route?

Now is the time to start thinking about planning for possibility of flooding in your area. For those living in the rural areas, paramedics and other emergency services rely on your directions how to get quickly and safely to the scene of the emergency. Make sure your instructions include that alternative route.

Having said that, we encourage those in the rural area to take a piece of paper and write down directions showing how to get to your home from the nearest major road. You always think that it will be you or your spouse calling for help but what if the kids came home from school to find mom at the bottom of the stairs as she tripped with the laundry basket. If the kids had to call for help do, they know the directions?

What if it was the neighbor needing to place the call. Plan now; write down your name, the telephone number, legal land location of the house and directions of how to get to the house using fixed measurements and visible fixed landmarks. Help is on the way but only if they know how to get there. Remember you may not be the one to place the call for that help.

Thinking about spring is a reminder to consider that your favourite lake you fished on this winter or snowmobiled across might be getting thin in places. Smaller dugouts, ponds or creeks might be displaying thin rotten grey or “dirty” ice conditions. Stay away from these ice conditions as falling into icy cold water is extremely dangerous and you may not survive. As we start to experience more melting conditions, snow piles or snow forts are areas our kids need to be told to avoid.

Spring brings about a chance to start spring cleaning. Opening the shed to get at the garden tools or other storage buildings where besides the boat and tools, a few rodents might have been spending their winter. Give closed in spaces a chance to air out before you venture in. Your clean-up might need to include cleaning up animal droppings. Take proper precautions to prevent any illnesses.

Melting snow might reveal trash or unexpected sharp objects like needles. A good pair of leather work gloves, pliers, and a puncture proof container, can easily help you handle safe pickup. You can book a first aid class with us either as a certified course or just to learn the basics in a noncertified community presentation. Be Safe!!

Spring Cleaning


On Sunday, March 13, much of Canada will spring forward and adjust their clocks. In Saskatchewan we don’t as we do not observe day light savings time. But the annual ritual of adjusting clocks signals spring might not be too far away, we hope! But in our need to get to spring, there is still plenty of winter left and all this snow needs to melt away.

With frozen ground where will all the water run? Let’s hope not into your basement, but now is the time to start moving the snow at least 6 feet away from your house. It’s going to take a while to get rid of all this snow. As I jokingly say let’s hope it’s not July before it’s gone from the north side of our home.

March 8 was International Women’s Day. We salute the accomplishments of women everywhere. We acknowledge the dedicated women of our paramedic and communications teams who everyday bring their expertise to care for you. Congratulations ladies on the great work you do!

March is often the time when we start to do some spring cleaning. Sometimes that cleaning involves the disposal of unwanted medications. If you have unwanted prescriptions or outdated medications don’t just dump in the garbage or flush them down the toilet. The safest way is bag them up and deliver them to your pharmacist for safe, proper disposal. That is one safe way to prevent accidental poisoning in your home. Other ways can include:

            •           Keep medications safely out of the reach of small curious children.

            •           The same goes for common household cleaning chemicals.

            •           If you think your child may have accidently ingested some medications or household chemicals, ask your self these important questions:

            •           Is the child wake, breathing normally and responding to commands appropriately? If yes, then first call Poison Control at 1-866-454-1212. These experts will guide you through the next steps. If you do call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number, you will get help but maybe in certain circumstances you might avoid a trip to the hospital.

            •           Don’t treat medication as candy.

            •           Don’t pour household chemicals from a larger container to something like a soda pop container which might be easier to transport. Children see the coloured bottle and might associate the image with something tasty to drink.

We often get calls about where to obtain a first aid kit. Many local stores will have them available, but you can also make one yourself. Here’s a few easy steps:

            •           Find a suitable container – a used plastic take out container for example.

            •           You need something to stop the bleeding including various sizes of bandages.

            •           Some tweezer and scissors.

            •           An antibiotic ointment.

            •           Depending, where the kit goes, you might have splinting materials, a sling, a few small plastic bags.

            •           Your workplace will have different needs often required by regulations than what you might need at home.

It’s easy to make or buy one. Keep it handy and stocked and let other family members know where to find it. Stay calm when an emergency does occur. If you need paramedics give good accurate directions to where help is need and do your best to answer our medical communications teams’ questions. Stay safe!

OUCH – That hurt!

by Lyle Karasiuk

It only takes an instant for an incident to happen. A check into the boards playing hockey, collision with a solid object while tobogganing, collision with someone else while on a snow board can prove to be disastrous, especially when you are not wearing the gear. Head injuries account for over 30% of all hospital emergency room visits. A recent study by the University of Alberta showed that wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding can reduce injury by 30 to 55 per cent. Another study found that for every dollar invested in helmets saved $29 in health care costs. For a country that aggressively regulates against health threats, ranging from mandatory use of seat belts through to restrictions on the types of dyes that can be used in foods, there remains a curious void around winter sports.

Professional athletes wear the gear when they step onto the ice, go skiing or engage in other sport events. So why won’t you? A bike helmet, snowboard or toboggan helmet, ski helmet can prevent a head injury. While other prevention tips such as:

  • Inspecting the terrain for hazards like people, trees or other fixed objects
  • Making sure that the equipment is in proper working order
  • Dressing for the weather and dressing safely means no scarves or hoods with strings
  • Following the rules of the facility/location

So, what happens if you “wipe out” or collide with a fixed object like a tree. After the initial impact, assess your own safety. Can you move arms, legs; do you remember everything that has happened? If there is any pain or there appears to be injury especially to the head, neck or back DO NOT MOVE seek immediate medical assistance and dial 9-1-1 if appropriate. It is possible to suffer a concussion. This mild brain injury is caused by rapid movement of the head so literally the brain is slammed against the inside of its protective skull. This event interferes with brain function resulting in a change in the person’s mental function. You do not have to strike your head against anything nor do you need to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion.

Some signs or symptoms are:

  • Headache, dizziness or seeing “stars”
  • Strange behavior, vacant blank stares or a confused look
  • Slurred speech, slow to respond to question, loss of balance
  • Ringing in ears, excessive tiredness, restlessness or being sick and vomiting

What to do:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if the injured person has lost consciousness, has trouble breathing or is convulsing
  • Every person who you suspect has a concussion should be seen by a doctor
  • The injured person should not return to activities on the day of the injury.
  • Avoid driving until advised by your doctor
  • Complete rest while symptoms persist then a gradual return to normal activities

No athlete should be returned to play until a doctor has cleared them, and they no longer have symptoms at rest or under exertion. When in doubt … sit them out.

Prevention is the key. Understand the risks of the sport or activity, take all appropriate precautions and wear a certified helmet. A helmet is your single best protection against injury and could save your life!


A reason to take Heart

When’s the last time you visited your family doctor for a physical checkup? Maybe you don’t even have a family doctor. A good place to start is a complete physical. Your doctor gets a baseline of where your health is right now. Are you overweight? Do you have high blood pressure? Are you diabetic? How’s your heart working? While medical science has advanced that should something be detected with your heart, we can fix it, if it ain’t broke why mess with a good thing.

But when a heart emergency does strike do you know the warning signs? Ask yourselves these “heart” questions and see how you score.

  • Do you get short of breath walking up a flight of stairs?
  • Do you get dizzy or lightheaded when bending over to pick something up off the floor?
  • Have noticed swelling in your feet?
  • Have you ever had chest pain the feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a visit to your family doctor is in order. The sooner the better too! But how do you spot a heart emergency that needs paramedics and a trip to the nearest emergency room:

  • Chest pain in the center of chest that feels heavy and doesn’t go away with rest
  • The pain may radiate up into the jaw, to the back down one arm
  • The pain might “take your breath away”
  • You look terrible, pale, sweaty skin basically you might think you have a really bad flu
  • You feel sick to your stomach, dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Despite your best efforts none of these symptoms go away

What do you do? Your heart is a muscle and the clock is ticking to get help quickly.

  • Stop what you are doing and rest
  • Activate 9-1-1 and summon the paramedics
  • Chew at least 160mg of preferably uncoated aspirin. Not Tylenol, not Advil but good old fashion Aspirin!
  • Don’t panic, while you might be scared getting your heart working any harder than it is now is not a good idea

What can I expect when the paramedics arrive?

  • Paramedics will assess your vital signs.
  • Paramedics will likely perform an ECG and based on their treatment begin a course of treatment while getting safely and quickly to the closest hospital emergency room.

But what if the worst case situation happens and that once strong heart suddenly starts beating in a chaotic fashion. That chaotic beating can be described as ventricular fibrillation and you will lapse quickly into an unconscious state. Quick someone start CPR! Push down hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. Do not stop it is very important for CPR to be started quickly. Hopefully when this happens someone knows to call for help and get the important AED. Turn the AED on and follow the voice prompts. The sounds of paramedics arriving will be a welcome site.

This February visit your family doctor for that important health checkup. If you recognize signs and symptoms of what might a heart attack, don’t wait get immediate help. Learn more about what to do when a heart emergency occurs and the important of early CPR and early AED, take a first aid and CPR class. We, at Parkland Ambulance can help, give us a call!