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West Virginia Office of
Emergency Medical Services

350 Capitol Street
Room 425
Charleston, WV 25301

Toll Free: 1-888--747-8367
OEMS Phone: (304) 558-3956
OEMS Fax: (304) 558-8379
Trauma Phone: (304) 290-9307
Trauma Fax: (304) 558-8379


While the information contained in this news article was current and accurate when we posted it, it may not necessarily represent current WVOEMS policy or procedure. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 304-558-3956.

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2016 4:23 PM

As clean-up efforts are underway across West Virginia following significant snowfall from Winter Storm Jonas, you should be reminded to use caution during snow removal and debris clean-up.  The risk of exertion brought on by shoveling large amounts of snow can cause serious health concern in addition to the potential for chain saw injury during any tree or debris removal.


Shoveling snow is hard work and can increase extra strain on the heart especially with the amount of snow that has fallen across West Virginia. If you experience heart disease or high blood pressure, you should follow your healthcare provider's advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold.  Individuals that are not accustomed to strenuous work activity, should allow plenty of time to do the work and rest often.  If clean-up includes using a chain saw, remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions to be safe.  You are encouraged to use a hard hat, safety glasses, ear plugs, thick work gloves, chaps, and boots.  Remember to always hold the saw at waist level or below, and make sure that others remain far away.  Bent trees or branches can also be an issue, especially if they have gotten twisted, hung up on, or caught under another object. If the tree or the branch is suddenly released, it may strike the person cutting it, or a bystander.  If someone is cut, put direct pressure on the wound to stop bleeding and seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Call 911 if needed.


Trees entangled in power lines must be deferred to the local power company.


Please stay safe during the storm clean-up and take all necessary precautions to help reduce your risk of injury.



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