WHITE PLAINS — When the worst of winter weather hits, most of us head home and hunker down.
For CSEA members working as paramedics and emergency medical technicians for the Town of Greenburgh, that’s when the work ramps up.
That was certainly the case during a recent extreme cold spell, which included a little-known weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone.
“It was just as cold, windy and wet as you could imagine,” said Town of Greenburgh Unit member Kevin Lynch, an emergency medical technician who has worked for the town the past seven years. “Most of us here have been doing this work for a long time, so we have an idea of what to expect, but we still feel the cold.”
What to expect? Plenty of motor vehicle accidents, Lynch said, due partly to the high traffic volume from the interstate and state highways running through the town. Workers also prepare for an increase in cardiac events and strokes resulting from residents shoveling snow.
To allow workers to respond in the heaviest snow and ice, town mechanics place chains on ambulance tires.
Unit President Jared Rosenberg, a paramedic supervisor, said that in addition to wearing multiple layers of clothing to stay warm, paramedics and EMTs also stash turnout gear, much like what firefighters wear, in emergency vehicles as an added layer of protection.
What’s one piece of advice Lynch offered for residents grappling with winter weather? Stay off the roads, if at all possible.
“It puts drivers in jeopardy, it puts us as first responders in jeopardy and it makes it tougher and riskier for the workers out plowing the roads,” Lynch said.
— Jessica Ladlee