Firefighters respond to increasing number of traumatic injury calls

Kennewick firefighters are seeing an increase in traumatic injury calls compared to this time last year.

It's a horrible accident that EMS fire officials said can be easily prevented.

The ice, too close for comfort as people hit the ground.

"That is everything from people slipping after climbing out of their car, to walking into a store, or they are walking down their driveway and they slip on the ice and fall," said Cpt. Eric Nilson, EMS officer for the Kennewick Fire Department.

Just last week Cpt. Nilson responded for an elderly woman who fell just trying to make her appointment.

"As she got out of her car and was walking inside the appointment, she slipped and hit her head on the ice," said Nilson. "She ended up with an intercranial bleed, which is bleeding inside the head."

This falls under the category of "traumatic injury calls," which have increased by 25 percent since last year during the same 30 day period.

"You have everything from shoulder injuries, to elbow injuries, fractured hips, fractured ankle's..." said Nilson. "We all have busy lives, we all have places we think we need to go, but we need to just slow down."

In the last 30 days Kennewick firefighters have been on 127 traumatic injury calls compared to about 90 last year.

Cardiac events have also increased by 20 percent.

"I cannot tell you that that's because of people out shoveling the snow," said Nilson.

Bob Bowell shoveling snow from his driveway early Monday morning said that's where he draws the line.

"To the point of coronary, that's where it ends," he said.

However, if you are shoveling the snow and have some kind of health condition, Nilson can tell you this: "you need to ask yourself if you are really up to it you know? And not try to be or do more than you can do," said Nilson.

Nilson also said fire calls have increased due to improper use of heating sources.

Firefighters suggest keeping space heaters away from combustable materials and keeping fireplaces and pellat stoves clean.

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