SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It's not even winter yet and the bone chilling temps have hit western Massachusetts making it too cold to bare.
The arctic air also makes it more challenging for first responders in emergency situations.
EMTs and paramedics have one of the most difficult jobs. They respond to emergency medical calls in any weather conditions and are faced with stressful scenarios day after day.
Jefferey Suriano, a field supervisor paramedic for AMR in Springfield, told Western Mass News this cold weather we're experiencing brings many extra challenges.
"On the patients behalf, it's to warm the patient as soon as possible. If there are procedures that need to be done outside first to stabilize the patient, we get them in the ambulance as soon as possible and keep it tropical," Suriano explained.
Stabilizing a patient and keeping them warm is a top priority in frigid conditions, especially with people who have developed frostbite.
"Get them out of the cold and get any wet clothing off them and get them warm and dry and get them to the emergency department," Suriano noted.
While the focus is on the patients, it's important to remember these first responders also need to take care of themselves by packing extra blankets, hand warmers, and wearing the right gear to make sure they stay warm while responding.
"The things we think about are the basics and it's the same thing we ask people to look out for. Wear a knitted cap because you lose a lot of heat out of your head, layers are more provide better insulation than one big layer on the outside," Suriano said.
It's important for first responders to keep their hands warm inside the ambulance because once they get out they need to put on surgical gloves that really don't keep them warm.
"...Or even mittens with thin gloves inside other mittens because if you take you mittens off, you still have gloves on," Suriano explained.
Even though the snow hasn't arrived yet, Suriano said when it does come, that will effect how quickly they respond, but you can do your part to help out.
"Areas where we can ask the public to help if you have a loved one with special needs or anyone, keep the sidewalks shoveled. It makes it harder to respond to a patient when the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice," Suriano added.