By Kevin Sabo
Christmas is past and New Year’s is just around the corner. With the holidays in full swing, the area emergency services would like to wish everyone in the County of Paintearth a safe and happy holidays. This is a very busy time of year for everyone, with travel aplenty, as well as visiting with family and friends. With any luck, that would not include a visit with our emergency workers. The unfortunate can happen, however, so here are some friendly reminders to make the season less stressful for everyone.
As the note that has already gone out to the residents of the town of Castor stated, EMS is requesting that everyone have their house number well marked. There have been incidents where they have had trouble locating patients due to poor house markings and, in emergency situations, a delay in scene arrival can be costly. Lorne Dewart, the East Central Ambulance operations manager, said that at this time of year there is usually an uptick in calls involving people overindulging alcohol, as well as food. With junk food being plentiful this time of year, he cautions people to moderate what they eat and drink, and continue with fitness and health programs as much as possible, and to take precautions when traveling. Examples of these precautions are having an emergency kit in your vehicle, and letting someone know when you are leaving and arriving at your destinations.
The Castor Volunteer Fire Department would like to remind people to be cautious while prepping holiday meals and to not leave the house while food is in the oven due to potential fire risk. Also, despite a large number of people having artificial trees, some prefer having live/cut Christmas tree. As the days and weeks go on, these trees can dry out and become a fire hazard, particularly if there are lights in close proximity to wrapping paper or dry branches or needles. Another issue this time of year is overloaded power sockets, which can pose huge fire risk as well. The recommendation would be to split power use among several outlets on different circuits if possible. This will minimize risk of a short causing a fire.
In the event that anyone does have to reach out to emergency services, to keep things less stressful for yourselves, as well as the responding crews, please keep your canine friends outside, or locked in a bedroom away from where the action is. Your canine companion and the emergency crews will love you for it.
The Coronation RCMP would like to let people know that they will be out looking for impaired drivers over the holidays, as well as checking that people hold valid drivers licence, and current registration and insurance. It is not worth the risks to drink and drive; there are other options available. There is also a zero-tolerance policy for those holding graduated licences.
As fun and happy as this time of year is supposed to be, the unfortunate can happen; and these reminders can be seen as a way to reduce the stress to everyone involved. East Central Ambulance, Castor Volunteer Fire Department, and the Coronation RCMP would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe 2018. Be on the lookout in the new year for more news and community initiatives coming from the region’s emergency service crews.