Freez­ing rain leads to spike in slip-and-fall calls

Edmonton Journal - - CITY + REGION - JONNY WAKE­FIELD With files from Hina Alam jwake­field@post­media.com

Am­bu­lance crews and hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ments were tied up with a large num­ber of slips and falls Tues­day, Al­berta Health Ser­vices of­fi­cials say.

Paramedics re­sponded to 89 slip-and-fall calls in the Ed­mon­ton metro area alone after freez­ing rain turned streets and side­walks into ice rinks. On a typ­i­cal win­ter day, Ed­mon­ton emer­gency ser­vices would re­spond to an av­er­age of five calls for slips and falls on ice, AHS spokesman Kerry Wil­liamson wrote in an email Wed­nes­day.

“EMS crews in Ed­mon­ton along with hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ments ex­pe­ri­enced ex­tremely high de­mand yes­ter­day, due in large part to slip­pery side­walks and roads caused by freez­ing rain,” he wrote.

Al­ber­tans wind up in hospi­tal after falls on ice and snow at higher rates than peo­ple in most other prov­inces, sta­tis­tics show. Nearly 41 Al­ber­tans per 100,000 were hos­pi­tal­ized after slips and falls be­tween 2011 and 2016, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Health In­for­ma­tion.

Only Saskatchewan and Prince Ed­ward Is­land had higher rates. Al­berta’s rate was nearly three times that of On­tario.

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