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Boston EMS Prepares For Frigid Temperatures

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston EMS says it is prepared ahead of a week of brutally cold temperatures.

Every ambulance will be loaded with heat packs to combat cold-related ailments.

"We take those and we pack them in the armpits and in the crease of the neck, in the crease of the legs. That allows blood from the very big arteries to take the warm heat from the heat pack and bring it to the core and let the body do its work," said Deputy Superintendent of Field Operations Susan Schiller.

A heat pack that will be in Boston ambulances (WBZ-TV)

She says the frigid cold can trigger respiratory illness, increase the risk of frostbite, and create the potential for dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide.

"It doesn't take a lot of time for you to get frostbite, all it takes is cold temperatures and a little bit of wind."

Schiller hopes more people will take steps to prevent cold weather injuries before her colleagues step in. She is directing Bostonians to 3-1-1 and the city's website.

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