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Conditions hamper paramedics
Rochester, N.Y.--Mark Bartholomew has a hard enough time staying warm as he races from call to call. Combine his daily routine as a paramedic for Rural Metro with slippery roads and often un-shoveled walkways or porches and their response times can be greatly impacted.
"It gets very dangerous to try to carry somebody out because now we have to make sure we have solid footing, we don't slip while carrying somebody and then they get hurt and we get hurt," explained the veteran paramedic.
At times EMS workers must act more like public works employees during winter.
"Whoever the parter, who is not taking care of the patient if they have a shovel and shovel a oath we carry salt so we can salt the sidewalk, salt the steps so we can have a little better traction," added Bartholomew.
First responders urge residents to shovel a path to the street if able, for those who live near elderly or disabled people, they encourage them to help their neighbors.
Often times those being transported are not dressed for severe cold, making the moments EMS have to get them into an ambulance more precious.