Facebook users may have seen the requests to clear snow around their hydrants popping up in posts on the social media site.
On its Facebook page, Oregon Fire & Rescue Department notes that, while it’s nice and very important to keep hydrants accessible in the event of emergencies, residents should remember possible dangers associated with shoveling snow – especially large piles thrown from the roadway by snowplows, which can freeze into something that resembles concrete.
OFRD, with info from www.metrohealth.org, offers these cautions:
Snow shoveling can be more strenuous than exercising full throttle on a treadmill.
Shoveling, even using a snow blower, can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and the cold air can cause constriction of the blood vessel and decrease oxygen to the heart. All these work in concert to increase the work of the heart and trigger a potentially fatal heart attack.
Individuals who are at risk of a heart attack during cold outdoor activities include:
• Those with a prior heart attack
• Those with known heart disease
• Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol
• Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle
These individuals should think twice about shoveling snow and should talk to their doctor before taking on such a task.
“We have had members staffing our stations throughout this event and we have begun to get out and start clearing hydrants throughout the city,” the OFRD Facebook page says. “If you can help, we thank you in advance, if you can't, that's ok we understand. Be safe and be well. We have almost made it through this.”
Residents can keep informed and keep in touch with OFRD by liking the department at www.facebook.com/OregonOhioFireandRescueDepartment.