March 15, 2018 9:02 pm

EMS calls red alert as winter storm blew through Calgary Thursday morning

File photo

File photo

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EMS in the Calgary Zone received so many calls for service on Thursday morning, at one point there were no more ambulances available to respond to calls.

EMS were forced to call a red alert for about 25 minutes between 9:40 a.m. and 10:05 a.m., as all ambulances were tied up.

A winter storm blew into the Calgary area Thursday, making for messy roads.

According to EMS spokesperson Adam Loria, they received about 118 calls for service between 8 a.m. and noon, whereas on a normal morning, they’d receive about 85.

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READ MORE: Winter storm moves into Calgary Thursday

“There were a small number of non-life-threatening calls in pending, all of which were attended to by EMS a short time later,” Loria said in an emailed statement.

He added there are processes in place to make sure anyone needing emergent care will be attended to.

“Additional staff and ambulances were being brought on shift throughout the morning to address increased need,” he said. “There are ambulances available.”

Loria said situations of extremely high demand are brief, adding that “even in the busiest times, EMS still responds to all emergencies to provide patient care.”

EMS is reminding people to take extra caution when walking or driving in less-than-ideal winter conditions.

If you are walking, EMS reminds you to do the “penguin walk”:

  • Bend slightly and walk flat-footed
  • Point your feet out slightly like a penguin
  • Keep your centre of gravity over your feet as much as possible
  • Watch where you are stepping
  • Take shorter, shuffle-like steps
  • Keep your arms at your sides (not in your pockets!)
  • Concentrate on keeping your balance
  • Go slowly

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