Staying safe this winter

Lyle Karasiuk

Well we knew it was coming but yet we all likely just said tomorrow I will get the winter tires put on or tomorrow I’ll put the winter safety gear in the vehicle, then poof snow and cold weather, somehow like magic arrived. Despite the arrival of the first snow fall, slippery road or sidewalk conditions, you still have time to get winter ready.

When operating a motor vehicle during the winter please slow down. Give yourself extra time to get where you are going. It is winter time so some general reminders of winter safety are in order:

• Slow down

• Give yourself space between you and the vehicle in front of you when stopping or travelling on city streets or highways.

• Keep your windows free of ice and snow so that you can see properly.

• Be alert for an approaching emergency vehicle so you can safely pull to the right to let them pass.

• Watch for snow plows and do not pass unless it safe to do so.

• Securely stow your winter gear such as shovel, booster cables, extra blankets, winter boots, first aid and winter survival kits.

Please do your part to keep your sidewalk and driveways free from snow and ice. Our paramedics will appreciate your efforts as will others. Please dress properly for the weather with toques, mittens, good winter coat and long underwear if needed. Some good footwear too and with the hustle of the Christmas fast approaching please walk carefully but remember to cross at the corner. It is hard enough for a vehicle to spot you when streets are warm and dry but with the additional snow, vehicles may not stop as quickly.

If you do slip and fall please don’t be a hurry to get up or help someone who has fallen to get up. It takes less than a minute to:

• Check to see if the person whose fallen is okay

• Get them to move their arms, wrists, knees and ankles

• Does it hurt anywhere?

• Do they remember what happened?

 If the person who has fallen complains of any pain that might prevent from moving or if they have pain to their head, neck, back or hips, please call the paramedics. Trying to move them when they are injured may seem like a good idea but can make things much worse than it already is. If you are injured yourself and find only upon getting home that things just are well, then call for paramedics or seek other medical assistance as required.  Falls are most likely to happen when conditions like snow or ice, wet or uneven walking surfaces are present.

So you have not yet gotten your Christmas decorations up, please stay off your roof. If you have to get up onto a ladder do so safely, with a spotter and proper footwear.

Do not overextend your reach, move the ladder over. Please use proper rated electrical cords and be sure a cord does not create a trip hazard as you start putting up home decorations in anticipation of Christmas.

There is still time to get your flu shot, please do so. During the colder winter months wash your hands frequently to stop the spread of the flu!

Winter is not going to go away soon unless you are headed south for a months this winter.