EMSA and homeless services warn of dangerous cold

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – EMSA has responded to about four dozen weather related calls, including falls, cold exposure and car collisions.

“Call volumes have been relatively low today, which we’re very thankful for,” Adam Paluka with EMSA said during a news conference early Sunday afternoon.

They expect those numbers are likely to go up as conditions get worse.

They’re urging people to stay home, but if you do have to get out, be prepared with multiple layers of clothing.

“Keep a dry pair of every article of clothing with you because if your clothes get wet, that’s going to help hypothermia set in, and that is a very big danger with these freezing temperatures,” Paluka said.

Photo goes with story
Brutal freezing conditions in the metro area.

The Willard Center is serving as an overnight shelter for homeless community members. The city and Homeless Alliance are giving free rides there.

“I almost wish we were full, that means everybody would be coming in,” Jerod Shadid with the city’s homeless services said.

Outreach teams have been going out to homeless camps to tell them about the shelter and warn them about the risks of sleeping outside.

“We’ve had some trouble actually convincing people the last few days of the issue,” Shadid said.

“One of our outreach people had to have a discussion with some folks in a camp yesterday about frostbite because they were demonstrating they actually had some severe frostbite,” Shadid said. 

EMSA also says if you do get stuck on the road, try to get your car to the side of the road so emergency vehicles and plows can get by. 

City officials say if you see someone who is sleeping outside you can call 911. Police will take them to a shelter. 

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