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Responding to Cold Weather Emergencies (#31daysofCE)

Finally, we are expecting some snow in central Wisconsin later this week. I love winter, cold, and snow. Hot and cold challenge are among my most favorite emergency calls. Are you ready for cold weather emergencies?

Today is day 2 of “31 Days of Continuing Education” from Today’s focus is cold weather emergencies. Check out these training and CE resources for preparing, assessing, and treating hypothermia patients.

1. Remember your safety is number one. Make sure you always have the right cold weather gear with you. During the winter I add a small duffel behind my seat in the ambulance that includes windproof/water resistant pants, a thermal liner for my uniform coat, and a sweatshirt. In my uniform coat I keep a fleece hat and heavy fleece gloves. A motor vehicle collision patient extrication could have me out of the ambulance warmth for 10 minutes or more – plenty of time for me to negatively impacted by bitter cold temperatures.

2. Learn more about types of hypothermia, patient assessment, treatment, and prevention strategies in a 1.0 credit CECBEMS approved CE lesson I wrote for and CentreLearn users. Anyone can create a RapidCE account.

3. Read my set of tips in a recent column on improving patient heat retention and heat gain while minimizing heat loss.

4. Watch this video demonstration of how to create a hypowrap to help any patient in a cold environment minimize heat loss and retain the heat they are producing.

Share your tips, ideas, and con ed resources for cold weather emergencies in the comments area. Looking for a guest post for your blog or want to discuss hypothermia on your podcast just contact me by email, in the comments area, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.