COLUMN: Lyle Karasiuk — April 10, 2014

Lyle Karasiuk
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Yesterday was a very successful Pink Shirt Day for the Red Cross in Saskatchewan. Pink shirt campaign raises awareness against bullying in Saskatchewan and supports the Red Cross Respect Ed Programs. Congratulations to all who participated and donated to the campaign.

Let’s not make the awareness against bullies a onetime event. Every day we need to speak out in our community, schools and workplaces to combat bullying.

 

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Finally the spring sunshine is yielding results such as melting snow on streets and ice on lakes, ponds, dugouts and rivers. Please stay off any ice surface.

While it might look safe the dark spots, slush on top and maybe patches of open water along the edges signal the ice is not safe to walk on. Please keep snow mobiles, ATVs and of course people off the ice. There is a natural wonder and awesome power in watching the ice go out whether at the lake or on the North Saskatchewan River, but this time of year these areas are dangerous places. If you should fall in you have mere minutes to be rescued before hypothermia sets in.

Cold water that causes you breathing to race, your fingers to become numb and the weight of wet clothes trying to pull you under the water. If you do manage to get yourself out immediately you need to find warmth and get dry. If someone does attempt a rescue and I caution anyone to do so safely only from the shore or let the professionals handle the task.

Extend your reach with a rope, a tree limb, anything you might have to toss and pull the person to a solid surface. Don’t become a victim yourself trying to rescue someone else. Simply take heed and stay away from the river ice.

 

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This week I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker for the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region Volunteer Appreciation Evening. As it is national volunteer week, the health region recognized the countless people who every day do so many things to help so many people.

The men and women of Parkland Ambulance Care are excellent community volunteers who give to many events. Thank you to these volunteers from Parkland Ambulance Care for their community and volunteer support.

 

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Many folks are starting their spring cleaning which can involve gathering up old items and disposing of unwanted items. When disposing of things like paints, cleaners and other house chemicals do so safely and with the environment in mind.

Pouring this into that or just dumping down the drain may not be a great idea. If disposing of unused or expired medications, don’t dump them out in the trash. Gather them up and return to your pharmacy. They have a safe and proper way to dispose of unwanted medications.

Be sure to read the label on all items whether they be a household cleaner, can of paint or other products like a can of solvent or glue. Many of us will fail to use products in well-ventilated areas or while wearing a mask, goggles and possibly gloves.

Consider this simple home renovation project using glue to place down tiles or linoleum with proper ventilation, and as the fumes build the pilot light from the hot water heater ignites the combustible vapors and you have a dangerous explosion.

Many of us assume we know what to do as we’ve used the product before but please read the label and follow the manufactures instructions before using cleaning or construction products or undertaking a home renovation project with power tools. A visit from paramedics is not what you may have planned and our paramedics would rather not meet you by accident.

 

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Spring time means more people out walking, skateboarding evening a few early cyclists have appeared. Slow down in residential areas, watch for pedestrians and always where the gear when biking, boarding or blading. In advance of next week’s Easter long weekend, please travel safe and do not text and drive. Be safe on our streets and roads!

Organizations: Red Cross, Prince Albert Parkland Health Region Volunteer Appreciation Evening

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, North Saskatchewan River

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