Schools, First Responders Take Action On Late Season Cold

Alan Scaia
March 04, 2019 - 6:16 am
Cold Weather,

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Schools districts across North Texas ​are sending notes to parents with the coldest weather of the season expected Monday and Tuesday.

Temperatures are expected to drop to near 20 degrees with wind chills in the teens and single digits.

Most districts say buses will wait longer at stops, giving kids a chance to wait inside their home or a car.

Dallas ISD says it cancels outdoor activity at its schools anytime the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

Fort Worth ISD canceled outdoor recess and athletic events scheduled for Monday and sent a list of precautions it is taking:

  • Transportation workers will report to work early on Monday in order to ensure the buses are ready to roll and their interiors are “warmed up” for young passengers.  
  • Custodial staff are also coming in early to ensure campus heating systems are on and buildings are warm.  
  • Schools will open before the usual time and students will be permitted to come inside early and keep warm. 
  • Campus principals will be at the school earlier than usual to monitor student and staff safety.

MedStar, the ambulance provider in Fort Worth, instituted its "Extreme Weather Response Protocol," responding to calls about cold weather at a higher priority. MedStar had already responded to several calls about the cold Sunday.

"In preparation for this cold snap, we'll be putting extra blankets on the ambulances," says MedStar's Matt Zavadsky. "We'll also be putting extra IV fluids and extra heat packs, so if we need to use those during the course of a shift, we'll have plenty available."

Zavadsky says MedStar expects more calls about people exposed to the cold Monday, so the organization will have more paramedics and call-takers working.

"We are very concerned about this late-season cold weather snap," he says. "We really want folks to prepare for it. Don't go outside if you don't have to. If you do have to go outside, limit the time you'll be outside to prevent any issues with cold weather, such as frostbite or hypothermia."

MedStar says people with frostbite might not realize at first because the area affected may be numb. Other signs of frostbite could include redness or "grayish-yellow" areas of skin. Skin may also be unusually firm or feel waxy.

Signs of hypothermia can include shivering, exhaustion or confusion in adults. Infants may have less energy or red and cold skin.