Hello everyone, with the winter season approaching (in some places, it's already here to stay) I thought I would offer some Safety Tips and Reminders for you. #1: WORKING SMOKE ALARMS. Now may be the time of year to replace those batteries and test your alarms. *For those of you in Ontario, Canada, you will face a $200 fine if they are not working or there* #2: Space heaters, candles, etc away from Christmas trees. #3: Ice on lakes must be AT LEAST 10-12 inches and solid before setting foot on it...This has got to be one of my Pet Peeves...I've already responded to 2 ice/water rescue calls this week. #4: Woodstoves and fireplaces should be given the appropriate space, as well, fire places should have guards up, and wood should be stored far enough away to prevent any ignition. It would also be a good idea to have your Woodstove inspected by someone who is WET (Wood Energy Technician) certified. #5: Salt/Sand/Molasses on your driveways and steps so no one falls and hurts themselves. #6: Do not over-exhert yourself shovelling, many people die of heart attacks every year from this. #7: Carry things in your vehicle like spare coats, gloves, flashlights, matches/lighter, a latern, a portable radio, a cellphone, a Shovel, a First Aid kit, flares or some sort of reflector. And finally, kitty litter. And now, since there is a greater chance of seeing car accidents in the winter, I will offer some basic advice about approaching the scene, and 1st Aid. First off, ALWAYS approach the patient in a way that you can initiate eye-contact. The patient should not have to move their head to see you, by extension, always assume the patient has a C-spine injury and don't move them. If someone is ejected, the same rules apply. Make eye-contact. Approach head-on. If there are multiple victims, prioritize your patients but remember, once you have stablized one, you cannot remove your hands and rush to another one. NEVER remove someone from a wrecked vehicle unless there is an immediate or impending risk of the vehicle bursting into flame. Heavy enough smoke counts. If you remove someone from a vehicle, and they wind up paralyzed, you can be sued. However, if you remove someone from a vehicle that is on fire, or close to exploding, and paralyze them, you are protected by the Good Semeritan Act. If you carry road flares in your car, set them up around the accident scene to make it safer for you, the patients in the wrecked vehicle, and others on the road. Don't put yourself in any more danger than you need to. To sum that all up: 1: Always approach head on, the patient shouldn't have to move his/her head to see you. Always assume a C-Spine injury. 2: Prioritize patients if there is more than one. But once you have began to support one's head/neck, do not stop. 3: Do not remove anyone from a vehicle unless they are in grave danger. 4: Make the scene safe for everyone involved. 5: Don't attempt CPR unless you are certified, again, there are legal issues. 6: Don't put yourself in uncessary danger. 7: Continue to support the patient's head/neck until Emergency Services show up, once they get to the patient (s) let them do their job. If they want help, they will ask. 8: If the car is unstable, do not start prying on doors, etc, as it will shake the car, and possibly harm the patient worse. 9: Blood/Bodily fluids are dangerous, a Patient could have HIV, AIDS, or Hepatitis A, B, or C. It may help to ask the patient if they have any communicable diseases or any of those listen above....Even so, it is best to avoid Blood and Body Fluids. 10: Drive defensively, and report any aggressive drivers. Have a safe and happy holiday, thank you.