Fire House Facts & Snake Bite Prevention Tips
08/14/2012 | Kayla Holiman, Fire Inspector
The Yuma Fire Department responded to 208 emergency calls for service:
- 7 Commercial Assignments
Including: Various alarms
- 14 Motor Vehicle Crashes
Including: One involving a tree
- 165 Other Medical Emergencies (serious to minor)
Including: 5 for difficulty breathing, 7 for chest pain, 23 fall victims, 2 unconscious people, 2 seizure cases, 3 strokes, 18 people with psychiatric problems, 42 trauma injuries, 3 diabetic emergencies, 1 poisoning, 1 allergic reaction, 2 hyperthermia cases, 3 dehydrated people, a child locked inside of a vehicle, and other illnesses and injuries
- 22 Special Duty, Public Assistance, and Residential Assignments
Including: Two calls for snakes in the yards of residences, a kitten trapped in a wall, a small fire in the closet of a home, a travel trailer fire, utility lines down in a roadway, a small fire in the attic of a home, an air conditioner blowing smoke into a home, two snakes at a park, a dog locked inside of a vehicle, and various alarms
Last week the Yuma Fire Department responded to three separate calls to remove wild snakes from homes/public areas. It is estimated that nearly 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year which results in 8 to 15 deaths. It is very important to immediately seek medical treatment if you are ever bitten by a venomous snake. According to the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy, there are 17 different species or subspecies of rattlesnakes in Arizona and all are venomous. Here are some precautions you can take to greatly reduce the chance of being bitten by a snake (suggested by the College of Pharmacy):
- Leave wild animals alone. 50 to 70% of reptile bites managed by the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center were provoked by the person who was bitten; that is, someone was trying to kill, capture or harass the animal.
- Be aware of peak movement times. Reptiles in Arizona are most active in the warmer months of April through October. During the hottest months, they will be most active at night. They may be encountered during the day in spring and fall or during a warm day in winter.
- Watch where you put your hands and feet. Try to keep your hands and feet out of crevices in rocks, wood piles and deep grass. Always carry a flashlight and wear shoes or boots when walking after dark.
- Dead snakes can bite. Never handle a venomous reptile, even after its dead. Reflex strikes with injected venom can occur for several hours after death.
- Install outdoor lighting for yards, porches and sidewalks. If you see a venomous reptile in your yard, it is probably just "passing through." However, if you are concerned about a dangerous animal in your yard, seek professional assistance in removing it.
For More Information
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Mike Erfert or Kayla Holiman at 373-4850.