Dangers of digging out after the storm

Weather

(WTNH)–It’s been 24 hours, the snow has stopped but the cleanup has not. Heavy snow, heavy machinery, and heavy trees have sparked many 9-1-1 calls.

Dr. Steven Wolf, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Francis Hospital, says one of the more common injuries from shoveling snow is a heart attack.

“Some people can just drop from a sudden heart attack, and it is a massive one, others may get chest pains and stop and hopefully get to the hospital,” he said.

Others may be hospitalized for a hand or body part stuck in a snowblower. And still others from tree cutting injuries.Related: Saving your life and limbs when clearing snow

Matt Klimkosky runs Entire Tree Service, and has an entire crew cutting up an 11,000 pound tree that fell on a roof in Hartford. They were helmets and safety goggles and have cut resistant pants, something most homeowners don’t have.

“The thing that will happen with homeowners, is they will pull a sketchy move once, and they get away with it, but it is just a game of odds and statistics.”

News 8 checked around to Home Depot and a couple other places that rent chainsaws, and they say they’re all rented out. Klimkosky says this is not a typical weekend warrior job, their crew on site has more than $1 million worth of equipment and 100 years experience between them all.Related: 8 tips to stay safe during winter weather

Another problem, slushy, unsholeled walkways for paramedics. Seth Roberts of AMR says If someone does have a heart attack while shoveling, it’s difficult to navigate a top-heavy stretcher through the snow.

When you get into the heavy snow, you have to push them through the weight of all the gear, and if we have to take the time and we will take the time to shovel if we need to, but that delays getting us to the patient who needs care.

One tip, when you start shoveling, start on your walkway first, not your driveway, that way if you have a problem it should be clear for emergency personnel.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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