S9 A Temporal and Spatial Analysis of Cold-Related EMS Calls in New York City

Sunday, 12 January 2020
Andrew K. Mendez, East Los Angeles College, Monterey Park, CA; and K. E. Ferrera and N. F. Laird

This study focused on examining the relationship between Wind Chill Temperature (WCT), winter weather conditions, and the occurrence of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls in New York City (NYC). Cold weather can lead to conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite and has also been known to worsen pre-existing health conditions. Few studies, however, have examined the impact that cold has on public health in the United States. EMS Dispatch records of cold-related calls spanning from 2013 through 2018, as well as hourly weather data in NYC over the same span of time, were used. The cold season was defined as November through March. Analysis of average daily WCT and numbers of cold-related calls each day suggested there is a strong negative correlation. Spatial analysis of WCT variability in NYC suggested that four station locations across the NYC area measured only small differences; generally ranging from 1°C to -1.5°C. Spatial analysis of cold-related calls during each cold season revealed that relatively small numbers of calls were spread uniformly across the city except for a clustering of a large number of calls in Lower Manhattan - resulting in Manhattan having over half of all cold-season, cold-related EMS calls for NYC. Additional spatial analysis was used to explore whether this variability could be explained, in part, by the distribution of several demographic parameters.
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