Everything you need to know to prevent slips and falls

Walking on snow and ice is always a tricky thing in winter time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to prevent slips and falls.

Calgary EMS receive 210 calls after slips and falls over past week

Rising and falling temperatures, such as those seen recently in Calgary, can make for slick conditions on sidewalks and pathways. (Patti Edgar/CBC )

Walking on snow and ice is always a tricky thing in winter time.

For city and private snow clearing crews, keeping up with Mother Nature can also be a challenge. But even for those who've been in the business for years, this winter is proving more difficult than usual.

"Four to nine-foot drifts in areas that really only got 15 inches of snow, 80-mile an hour winds," said Ian Ashby, owner of Arbutus Landscaping. "Everyday the conditions are different so you have to be just ultra aware of what possibly could be under that snow."

Ashby's crew works 12-hour shifts to plow, blow, scrape and shovel snow — mostly off of community pathways.

The City of Calgary is responsible for clearing roughly 300 kilometres of pathway around the city, and officials there say keeping up with residents' expectations requires organization.

"We do try to clear everything on a Priority 1 or a 24-hour basis," said Duane Sutherland. "That is 24 hours from the end of a snow event."

With temperatures going up and down lately, conditions are primed for slips and falls to happen.

There have been roughly 210 calls to paramedics already this week, says Chelsea Small, spokesperson for EMS.

While most falls aren't severe, older Calgarians can have a higher risk of serious injuries like broken hips and so paramedics are advising everyone to be cautious when walking on snow and ice.

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