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Office of the Eaton County Sheriff - Weekly Update

Posted on: February 19, 2020

Weekly Update Article February 17, 2020

Overall the Eaton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 861 calls for service/events.  Our higher call volumes occurred in the following areas:  Alarms (22), Car/Deer Accidents (28), Assist Citizen/Motorist Assists (26), Check Well Beings (19), Domestic Disputes (20), Shoplifting Complaints (28), Larcenies (12), Disorderly Person or Subject (11), Property Damage Hit & Run (8), Car in the Ditch (32), Property Damage Crashes (52), Suspicious Subject/Situation/Vehicle (40), Traffic Hazards (20), Traffic Stops (185), Traffic Violations (33), and Vacation Checks (26).

This week’s topic was sent to me by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and is courtesy of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.  This is valuable information to be aware of for all Michigan residents and winter outdoor enthusiasts. 

What You Need To Know If You Happen To Fall Into Cold Water:  

  • Don’t panic. Try to get control of your breathing. Hold onto something or stay as still as possible until your breathing settles down. It may be a boat, a fixed object, or something floating. Focus on floating with your head above water until the cold shock response abates.
  • If multiple people fall into cold water, huddling in a group lessens the loss of body heat and is good for morale. Also, rescuers can spot a group more easily than individuals.
  • If you were not wearing a PFD when you entered the water, look to see if one is floating around you and put it on immediately. Don’t take your clothes off unless absolutely necessary. A layer of water trapped inside your clothing will help insulate you.
  • Get as much of your body out of the water as possible. Even though you may feel colder out of the water, the rate of heat loss will be slower than if immersed in water.
  • If you cannot get out of the water quickly, act to protect against rapid heat loss. In as little as 10 minutes, you may be unable to self-rescue. Your focus now should be to slow heat loss.
  • Safety typically looks closer than it actually is, so staying with the boat is usually a better choice than swimming.
  • Adopt a position to reduce heat loss. If alone, use the HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) position; or if there are others in the water with you, huddle together. The HELP position looks similar to the fetal position.
  • If you must swim, conserve energy and minimize movement. Swim on your back with your upper arms against the sides of your chest, your thighs together, and your knees bent. Flutter-kick with your lower legs.
  • Be prepared at all times to signal rescuers.
  • Seek medical help immediately.

Yours in Public Safety,

Sheriff Tom Reich

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