City sees dozens of cold-related emergency calls

With the extreme cold sticking around for a bit longer, city leaders want to make sure you stay safe and healthy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - With the extreme cold sticking around for a bit longer, city leaders want to make sure you stay safe and healthy. They hosted a Q & A session Friday morning, Jan. 5, to give updates and remind everyone of the resources available. Metro 211 is one of the numbers available 24/7 to help.

Above all, the city is urging everyone to be smart and look out for one another during this brutal round of weather. The cold makes life more difficult and uncomfortable all around, but leaders say there are ways to make it more bearable.

They recommend staying inside as much as possible and dressing in layers. If you do need to be outdoors for extended periods of time, make sure to watch out for hypothermia and frostbite. 

“Anytime someone is having prolonged cold exposure puts them at even higher risk for things like hypothermia or frostbite,” Louisville Health & Wellness Medical Director Lori Caloia said. 

Warning signs include the loss of feeling in your fingers, toes, and ears, uncontrollable shivering, and memory loss. If someone you're with shows those signs, doctors say you need to warm the center of the body first and give warm beverages to them. 

Metro EMS had 15 calls for cold-related emergencies just last week. 

"It's people that were commuting from here to there or maybe some of the homeless that we have to watch for our vulnerable population there,” Diane Vogel with Louisville Metro EMS said. 

The extreme weather is also keeping Louisville Metro Animal Services very busy. It's had 100 calls for dogs with no shelter this year. 

“We’re asking everybody just to keep their animals inside if they can. If they do have to keep them outside, have an insulated dog house and put straw inside the dog house to help keep it warm,” Adam Hamilton with Louisville Metro Animal Services said. 

Louisville Fire also passed along lots of helpful tips to stay safe. The department said a lot of cold-related emergencies it sees can be prevented like space-heater and generator fires.

“If you are using one, make sure that you use one that has met and has been tested by the industry. Use one that has safety mechanisms built in them and that you know how to use them,” Captain Salvador Melendez said. 

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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