NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Captain Gregory Boivin is a New Haven firefighter with cold weather on his mind.
“I know there’s other guys who cringe at the fact coming in on a cold, cold day,” said Boivin.
The reason he is thinking about the cold is because an arctic blast is making its way into Connecticut in the coming days, bringing with it bone-chilling temperatures that, in some cases may feel as cold as 20 degrees below zero. When it gets that chilly outside, Boivin says fighting fires gets more challenging, so in turn first responders like him take steps to stay warm.
The key says Boivin is to dress in layers, layers, and more layers.
“We carry our spare set of clothes with us,” said Boivin.
In addition to their normal gear, many firefighters also wear thermal socks, several shirts, sweatshirts, long underwear, and put warming pads in their gloves and boots.
Even if you’re not planning on fighting any fires, Dr. Andrew Ulrich with Yale New-Haven Hospital tells News 8 it’s important people don’t underestimate the cold. When temperatures feel like they’re sub zero, it only takes minutes for frost bite to set in.
“Skin will first turn very red when it gets very cold and then it starts to blanch or get very pale,” said Ulrich.
Another good idea when you put on your winter clothes is to make sure that you allow for there to be some air in between each layer that you put on, which will allow your body heat to warm up the air and ultimately keep you warmer. And don’t forget to put on warm footwear, gloves, a scarf, and hat as body heat can escape from extremities.
“A lot of the heat, upwards of 40 percent of the body heat, will be lost through the top of the head,” said Dr. Ulrich.
Medical experts recommend when it’s dangerously cold outside, the best thing one can do is stay inside.