B.C. paramedics respond to 50 hypothermia, frostbite calls in four days
Paramedics have responded to 50 calls for hypothermia or frostbite in the past four days as a bitterly cold airmass hovers over the province and Arctic outflow winds sweep the central and southern coasts.
On Christmas, B.C. Emergency Health Services responded to nine such calls — one in the Fraser Health area, three in Interior Health, two in Northern Health, one in Vancouver Coastal Health, and two in Island Health.
On Boxing Day, there were 13 calls — three in both the Northern and Fraser Health areas, five in Interior Health, one in Vancouver Coastal, and one in Island Health.
The numbers increased on Dec. 27. There were six calls for Fraser Health, five for Interior Health and three in Vancouver Coastal Health for a total of 14.
Tuesday matched that total, with three calls in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health areas, five in Interior Health, one in Northern Health and two in Island Health.
There were just nine calls for hypothermia or frostbite in the same timeframe last year, BCEHS confirmed.
For several days, Environment Canada has placed much of B.C. under extreme cold, Arctic outflow and snowfall warnings.
Wind chill values between minus 20 C and minus 50 C have been in the forecast for several parts of the province, and multiple cities from Vancouver to Bella Bella smashed records for the coldest temperatures on a calendar day.
Over the four-day period before the holidays, BCEHS says it responded to 17 exposure calls — eight on Dec. 21, three on Dec. 22, two on Dec. 23, and four on Dec. 24.