Tahoe chief’s corner: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
November 5, 2014
As you travel throughout the Sierra and witness the beauty of leaves changing to the brilliant gold and yellow, I am sure you aware of the weather getting cooler. We have also experienced the first snowfall in the upper elevations indicating winter is on the way.
As we enter this time of the year, we encourage our residents and visitors to use caution with your heating appliances and ensure your home is ready for winter with adequate and inspected heating devices; ice melt is readily available for those slippery/frozen areas around our homes and communities.
How about ensuring each and every one of us is personally ready for the winter months ahead? Our health is most important, not only in these up-coming months but throughout our lives.
Have you had your routine medical evaluations? Have you had your inoculations, such as flu and pneumonia vaccines as recommended by your physician? Do you understand how to access the health care system in your community?
During the last several months, numerous issues have been highlighted in the media regarding infectious diseases — in particular, ebola, which has not previously been seen here in the United States.
What if our community were to have an individual who may have been exposed to ebola requiring medical assistance? Are your fire departments that provide emergency medical services prepared?
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Are your hospitals ready for the patient that arrives at their emergency room prepared? How about your private doctor's office or urgent care facilities?
The first thing that our communities need to understand, is that communication has been taking place among the Center of Disease Control, health care providers, district health departments, hospitals, urgent care centers and medical community members such as doctors' offices and other potential receivers of sick or injured patients for many years with respect to many types of infectious diseases that can be transmitted by several different pathways.
Ebola is now the most infectious disease being covered by the media as a very hot topic, as I am sure it should be.
Let's all remember this: The best deterrent for increasing our ability to fight off illness is to be as healthy as possible ourselves. Optimal health is the best defense to help fight off the common illnesses that break down our immunities.
Please have regular check-ups with your physician. Flu vaccines have been proven and are recommended to assist with protecting you from exposure to the flu virus and also protecting those of us that will be in contact with you ensuring that we do not spread to you and you do not spread to us.
Our children should be inoculated for childhood diseases so they too are protected from each other and not spreading illness.
Remember to wash your hands as many times as possible throughout each and every day, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Stay home if you are not feeling well and seek out medical advice when required to assist you with attaining medical treatment when required.
If you need assistance in an emergency situation, access your emergency medical services by dialing 911. Be prepared to provide information concerning your exact location, phone number and nature of emergency.
Understand that you will be asked key questions that will assist with an immediate response from emergency medical personnel.
Stay calm, provide answers to questions asked and be prepared to receive information that may be very valuable to assisting you or the victim experiencing an emergency. Be assured that help is on the way.
"Chief's Corner" is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.