By Tessa Roy
It’s early in the season, but we’ve already seen an impressive amount of snowfall as well as some icy conditions. In the last article we talked a bit about shoveling safely, especially when shoveling heavy, wet snow. Several fellow volunteers mentioned that I should talk about snow blower safety as well.
Snow blowers can be heavy and hard to push, as I mentioned briefly last month, but they also have some moving parts and gears that people should keep their hands away from. If the auger on your snowblower gets impacted with snow, please turn your snow blower off before attempting to clear the auger. If you leave the snowblower running and you clear the blockage, the auger will resume motion with your hand still inside, and we have seen these injuries before. When you do clear the auger try to use a tool instead of your hand, as the auger may be under pressure and move once the snow is cleared, potentially injuring any fingers or hands in its path.
Also keep an eye on the surface you’re clearing, whether it’s a driveway or a sidewalk, because it may be icy underneath the snow. Remember that when you walk on ice it’s best to move slowly, keep your knees slightly bent and keep your weight centered over whichever leg is in front of you. Think of how a penguin walks, and you’ll be less likely to slip and fall. If you do fall, try not to throw your hands out in front of you or behind you to catch yourself. This can be a hard instinct to fight, especially in the split second it takes to fall, but this is an easy way to break your wrist or arm. We’d also urge you to keep an eye on your neighbors, especially those who may be elderly or ill. Stop by every now and again to make sure they’re doing well or stop by before a big storm to make sure they’re stocked up with food. If you have the time and energy it’s always nice to help a neighbor clear their steps or walkway of snow.
I wrote quite a bit about heart attacks and the symptoms of a heart attack in the last article, and I realized I never mentioned the importance of learning CPR. If you have a free afternoon some weekend try and sign up for a CPR class. Hopefully you’ll never need to use the knowledge you’ll gain in the class, but it’s always comforting to know that you’ll be able to help someone in their moment of critical need.
Essex Rescue is running our annual subscription drive right now! Our subscription plan is $50 a year and if anyone in your household is transported by Essex Rescue, you won’t owe any money. We do still bill your insurance company, but if there is any part of our service that your insurance doesn’t cover, or if you have any copays or deductibles, those will be covered under the subscription plan. You can even subscribe if you don’t have health insurance. It is important to note though, this subscription only covers you for the cost of Essex Rescue transporting you. If you are transported by any of our mutual aid ambulances (Richmond, Colchester, St. Michael’s College, Milton, Williston, etc) those would not be covered by the subscription plan.
As always if you’re interested in joining Essex Rescue please contact Colleen Nesto at 847-4859 ext 4.