The Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District encompasses both sparsely and highly populated areas of Pitkin and Eagle County. For many residents who live in less populated, more remote areas, or who spend time doing outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing, emergency response times may be considerably longer than those living closer to Basalt and neighboring towns. To find out whether or not you live or play within the Basalt Fire District, see the Basalt Fire District Map here.
This section provides health and safety tips for all members of the community, particularly those who live the greatest distances from a fire station, or people who recreate in the back country, and must wait longer before emergency services are able to reach them.
COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
- Mild (body temp 90-95 degrees) earliest stages of hypothermia characterized by slurred speech or difficulty in speaking, cool skin and excessive shivering.
- Moderate (85-90 degrees) as body temperature drops victims become stuporous. Shivering will stop at about 89.0 degrees and will be replaced with muscular rigidity. Followed shortly by the loss of voluntary movement.
- Severe (less than 78 degrees) victims become unresponsive with irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest.
Who is most susceptible to Hypothermia?
- The elderly: They may be unaware of their limitations. Due to limited mobility they may be forced to spend increased amount of time exposed to the cold weather due to slow movement.
- Young children: Their thermo-regulatory system is still immature. Babies rely on adults for warmth.
- The infirm: Due to illness or injury they can’t remove themselves from the cold source.
Cold Weather Tips
Clothing- Wear several layers of clothing. Including a waterproof and or wind proof outermost layer. Always wear a hat and gloves. Your head is a great source of heat loss for your body (30-40%). Ears, fingertips and noses are also extremely susceptible to frost bite.
Avoid alcohol- Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not warm the body. In fact, it has the opposite effect by causing vasodilatation and decreasing the body’s natural insulating properties. It also suppresses shivering, and impairs judgment.
Stay off the ice- Determining the strength of ice is extremely difficult, especially for an untrained individual. Ice must be at least six inches thick before it can maintain the weight of a person, and to freeze to the right thickness the temperature must be well below freezing for weeks.