Subzero Temperatures Create High Danger for Hypothermia

There have been multiple deaths related to the cold across the U.S.

In frigid cold temperatures, in just a matter of minutes you could be in danger.

Below zero temperatures, wind chills, and plenty of snow.

The perfect combination for some dangerous situations.

“Just call 9-1-1 any call we get considering hypothermia, especially during these temperatures here is definitely an emergency,” Brandon Fitterer, captain, Bismarck Rural Fire Department says.

With parts of North Dakota are experiencing temperatures 20 below zero, or lower, when it’s that cold hypothermia can set in less than 10 minutes. 

“It’s very dangerous, we’re talking temperatures that we’ve had in the last couple days, frostbite, hypothermia can happen,” Fitterer says. “Extreme shivering, a lot of times you’ll see slurred speech, possibly they ‘ll have issues with their coordination.” 

Someone could be in the early stages of hypothermia.

The problem is keeping yourself safe while watching out for someone who might be in trouble.

“Now, if it’s an elderly person, they may have wondered way from some type of a group home if you think you can safely load them in your car and get them warm, year you can do that but often they may be intoxicated, have mental illness, be on drugs and it’s probably not going to be safe for you to start transporting these people around.” Sgt. Mark Buschena, Bismarck Police Department says.

If you think someone is in danger of freezing, Buschena says don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1.

“That’s why the best thing you can do is call law enforcement and we’ll check it out. We can usually get there within just a few minutes,” Buschena says.

And no matter if they have a home or not, Buschena says officer will find some way to help.

“Our patrol officers they do have some options available to them, we’re not going to let anyone freeze to death,” Buschena says.

To get people out of the cold.

Captain Fitterer says if you are in the position to help, get the person into a warm place, offer extra blankets and clothing, but don’t try to warm up any part of the body too quickly by using warm water, that could cause the person damage.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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