September 20, 2008

Chain Saw Use Risky, Officials Warn

By Anthony Gottschlich and Jeremy P. Kelley Staff Writers

Never picked up a chain saw? Don't start now unless you take the time to do it right, health officials warned. "There's a wide range of potential injuries and health conditions that can be worsened by people trying to handle this on their own," Montgomery County Health Commission

er James Gross said. "I suggest people be patient in all facets of dealing with the power outage and damage. A combination of insufficient knowledge on how to handle power tools with impatience and fatigue is a recipe for disaster."

Beavercreek Twp. Fire Chief Mark Thomas said "everybody and their brother is using a chain saw." Also worrying emergency officials are power and fire hazards.

Bellbrook fire chief Scott Hall said the fire and EMS crews have received several calls involving carbon monoxide , including two from people complaining of light-headedness. Crews arrived to find high carbon

monoxide levels caused by improperly used generators.

Local hospitals faced critical capacity Sunday and Monday as residents flooded emergency departments with injuries related to the windstorm, either from tripping in their darkened homes or hurting themselves clearing yard debris, Gross and hospital officials said.

Most hospitals started to return to normal by Tuesday, but Miami Valley Hospital remained at critical capacity Wednesday, spokeswoman Nancy Thickel said. "We now have 660 patients. Our average is 550. Hopefully, some patients will be able to be released today."

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