CareFlight crew battles bitter cold

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) Responding to emergencies takes on new challenges in the cold. When the mercury drops not only does the crew have to stay warm but they have to keep their patients comfortable too.
Today we found out what steps they take during an arctic blast.

They’re ready to fly at a moments notice and when cold air is in the forecast the CareFlight crew has to prepare for an even colder blast.

Mandy Via CareFlight Outreach Manager and Flight Nurse says, “When our air craft blades are running we get a down wash of 80 mph wind when it’s negative ten along with your other blast of wind going around it gets cold fast for us.”

Mandy Via has been a flight nurse for three years and says each crew member always dresses in layers to beat the cold.
But everything they do is for the patient.

“The patient is always the first priority. Safety is there as well and we want to do whatever we can to keep them warm and safe,” says Via.

Even while the aircraft is idle crew members do everything they can to decrease a patients risk and keep them comfortable. A small heater sits on the floor in order to maintain the temperature. Despite the cramped quarters everything has its place.  I-V fluids are stored and warmed ready to go along with special blankets.

Once the aircraft is in mid-air the heaters are turned on and the temperature begins to moderate. But in certain conditions crew members have to improvise.

In the bitter cold temperatures the crew members helmets actually shrink. So they put them on their knee to keep them warm
No matter what the temperature this crew always has warm thoughts when it comes to the job.

“You can fly a patient and be very concerned about their outcome and then see them out in the community living with their family functioning like they were before the accident. That’s always so rewarding for me and that’s why I keep coming back,”  says Via.

Via called today’s temperatures a “heat wave” and says highs near freezing are much better than temperatures below zero.

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