Extreme cold warnings are continuing for most of Saskatchewan through the weekend as temperatures drop into the dangerously cold category with wind chill values well below -40 C.
When it gets this cold, there is more urgency for paramedics when their phones ring.
“If we see people walking the streets without proper attire on, it can be deadly,” said Troy Davies with MD Ambulance in Saskatoon Friday.
Davies said they have responded to more weather related calls since the extreme cold settled.
“One of them was a senior who had fallen and slipped on a sidewalk. That’s a call where we wouldn’t typically go lights and sirens, but as soon as we hit -30 C it’s a life and death call for these individuals.”
Davies said seniors, kids and pets are the biggest concerns during cold spells.
With the extreme cold sticking around over the New Year’s Eve weekend, Davies is also warning people — particularly children — about frost bite.
“Kids will go nonstop until parents basically yank them off the backyard rink or whatever it might be,” he said, adding exposed skin will freeze within minutes.
Davies recommends dressing in layers and taking regular warm-up breaks.
SPCA SEE SPIKE IN NEW ARRIVALS
The Saskatoon SPCA is trying to keep up with an increase in animals arriving at the shelter.
Spokesperson Jasmine Hanson said four dogs and 16 cats have come in since the weather turned cold.
“We’ve definitely been affected by this,” Hanson said, adding the numbers are out of the ordinary and most likely due to the weather conditions.
Hanson also noted calls about people leaving their animals outside.
“In the summer time we’re talking about not leaving animals in hot cars, but don’t be leaving animals in cold cars or out in the cold without a source of warm either.”
Hanson said a good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your pet.
STRONGER ANIMAL PROTECTION LAWS IN 2018
Hanson said there hasn’t been any charges laid against pet owners during this recent cold spell, but added upcoming changes to the Animal Protection Act will make it easier for officers to crack down on negligent owners.
“They will be able to seize an animal as soon as they are concerned for that animal’s well-being,” Hanson said in a news release Friday.
She said she expects the changes will come into effect in spring 2018.