AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dozens of calls rolled into Austin 911 dispatch overnight as temperatures fell and the gusty winds caused weather-related emergencies.

“We did certainly expect to see an increase in hypothermia-type weather-related calls. And we also expected to see some carbon monoxide or toxic exposure type calls,” said Captain Darren Noak with Austin Travis County EMS.

Local medics are used to treating people exposed to extreme heat, but extremely cold, windy weather is something Central Texans are not used to.

“We’re going to figure out – especially with EMS – we’re going to figure out what the most appropriate disposition for you is. Don’t hesitate to call,” said Noak.

ATCEMS was ready with a plan to respond to not only the extreme cold emergency of hypothermia but frostbite as well.

“Some of the more advanced items we have: heat packs that we can use…” Noak said. “And in the most extreme cases, we do have the ability to put IV fluid warmers that would actually administer a warm IV fluid to start internal heating for our more severe hypothermic patients.”

How many cold weather-related calls has ATCEMS responded to so far?

In the 24-hour period from midnight Wednesday night to midnight Thursday leading into Friday morning, ATCEMS medics responded to 359 total 911 incidents.

Of those incidents, 17 were for environmental exposures. ATCEMS did not respond to any calls for carbon monoxide exposures.

The ATCEMS Integrated Services Team, in collaboration with Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), proactively visited with persons experiencing homelessness and through those efforts, they were able to move 300-400 unhoused individuals via CapMetro to the Cold Weather Shelter intake processing center, according to ATCEMS.

ATCEMS single responder units directly transported 28 people and 4 dogs to CWS or Warming Centers. Only one system ambulance was used for transport to a CWS.

ATCEMS said some individuals made the decision not to relocate. In those instances, the location of these individuals was recorded via What3Words App and routine follow-ups are being made to verify if anyone has changed their mind about relocating to the provided facilities.

If you are experiencing symptoms of frostbite, ATCEMS has some advice:

“Get into a warm environment, change out of those cold clothes. With exposures to your extremities [like fingers and toes], you can certainly run those under warm water, not hot water,” said Noak. “Put those extremities under your clothing and close to your skin to try to rewarm those. You can bundle up with blankets and just kind of rewarm yourself that way.”