CARTER LAKE, Iowa (WOWT) A Grand Island man was hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday morning after he was found down on the ice on the south side of Carter Lake.
He is identified as Scott A. Demers, 49. Wednesday was his birthday.
Around 10:30 a.m., authorities were called to the 1500 block of E. Locust in response to a party down. A passerby had noticed him on the ice near the Kiwanis Park.
Emergency crews arrived and found him unresponsive to verbal commands. He was not wearing gloves and was missing one of his shoes. A pair of winter gloves and a boot were found nearby.
Authorities then noticed the victim began to move. They got him off the lake, into a police cruiser and then to a medic unit on scene.
Demers was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Hospital personnel later advised that his condition had stabilized.
First responders are giving us some insight on what it takes to separate life from death when they find someone in a condition like this.
Captain Brad Nickisch, with the Papillion Fire Department, said, “It's got be a slow rewarming process, if it's any exposed skin, if the person was outside and their whole body is cold.”
Captain Nickisch said they have to be very careful in these types of cases. Warming up a person too fast could hurt the body even more.
“Put blanks on them. If they have wet clothes, take the clothes off. Warm fluids, start an IV on them.”
Our sister station was there as Omaha police blocked the area off. Officials said that when they got there, Demers was not responsive and smelled of alcohol. But this wasn't the only case of the bitter cold causing hypothermia or frostbite.
CHI Health Mercy in Council Bluffs reported two frostbite exposure calls, CHI Health Midlands reported 1 call. CUMC Bergan Mercy reported 1 call and Nebraska Medicine reported four cases of exposure in the past 24 hours.
Officials said while most of their warnings are common sense, some people forget to take them seriously.
Experts said the best way to avoid getting frostbite is to cover up. And if you have to go outside, do it in small periods of time.