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Firefighters offer tips to stay warm as temperatures drop into single-digits

Thermal Imaging Camera
Posted at 8:36 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 23:40:21-05

OVERLAND PARK, KS — With single-digit temperatures expected to move into the metro Wednesday night into Thursday morning, firefighters are warning people to dress in multiple, thin layers of loose clothing and listen to their bodies.

"We really don't have a lot of time to protect our skin before we start experiencing symptoms of frostbite," said Lt. Tyler Butts, of the Overland Park Fire Department. "That can happen in as little as 20 or 30 minutes."

Frostbite will first affect extremities like ears, noses and fingers.

"Your head is actually is probably where you lose the most heat," Butts said. "Forty percent of your body heat can be lost through your head."

The department's thermal imaging camera, which is often used to search for potential victims lost inside of fires, showed how hats and gloves can make a significant difference.

"Make sure you're covering up the head," Butts said. "Have a good stocking camp on, have a hat or a hood on. Anything to protect your head will help keep you safe."

In the event of being exposed to the cold for too long, Butts said to call 911 immediately. In the event that someone needs to be warmed up, Butts said slowly start to warm that person's core and then move outwards to their arms and legs.