Pat Shingleton: "Warmth: Wamres and Dogs..."
In a previous column, I referenced efforts to keep warm with a coal furnace. Homes built in the 1900s had limited insulation. Even though the coal furnace was stoked overnight, it didn't emit enough heat when the temperature slipped to -5 at daybreak. The remedy was bricks, heated near a fireplace and wrapped in a towel. Some resorted to the traditional "bed warmer." This device resembled a skillet with a a long handle and lid. Coals, placed in the container, warmed the bed by repeatedly sliding the pan between the sheets and the outer blankets. As an early morning paperboy, tossing the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, it wasn't unusual for me to "hit-the-sack," fully dressed, to avoid the morning chill at 6:00 A.M. One of my greatest Christmas gifts was a pocket warmer that is still used by many today. Dousing the bottom portion of the container with lighter fluid, then igniting it, hand warmth was available. Finally, the famous St. Bernard’s are considered the original rescue dogs and ABC World News Tonight reports that golden retrievers are choppered into the Colorado wilderness for rescue efforts. The dogs and their trainers are members of the elite Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment Team. Their mission is to respond to avalanches, saving people before they die. The team not only uses highly trained dogs and medics but ski mounted avalanche technicians. A snow buried victim only has 15 minutes for rescue then their chances drop 50-percent. As we witnessed in Convent on Tuesday and Wednesday, dogs are the single most important tool that rescuers have and one dog is worth a hundred human rescuers.
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