“Big morale booster:” Bell Ambulance warms up its crews with a hot bowl of chili

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's the perfect remedy to this bitterly cold January day.

"It starts warming you from the inside out. It`s a good feeling," said Bell Ambulance Deputy Operations Director Scott Mickelsen.

No matter what the weather is like, paramedics have to work outside when responding to emergencies. That's why Bell Ambulance is warming up its crews with a hot bowl of chili, along with hot dogs, chips, and treats.

"I think it`s awesome, I mean it`s great. Real big morale booster for sure," said Bell Ambulance Paramedic Mike Peterson.

"It was delicious, especially on a cold morning like that. Anything that warms us up is good," said Bell Ambulance Paramedic Lukasz Sieniawski.

The cold is also adding to Bell Ambulance's work load. In fact, Bell Ambulance officials say Tuesday was its busiest day in history in the Greater Milwaukee Area.

"We`re seeing a lot of flu-like symptoms and we`re seeing a lot of cold exposure, cold related injuries slips and falls," said Mickelsen.

Although these paramedics have to work in the cold, they're warning others to take proper precautions when outdoors.

"If you have to go outside keep all bare skin covered and limit your time outside. If you have to work outside remember you`re still sweating. You might not be as thirsty, but you're still getting dehydrated so you need to rehydrated yourself," said Mickelsen.

This is the second year Bell Ambulance has hosted this tasty event on one of the coldest days of year, feeding more than 100 first responders and they plan to do it again next year.

Bell Ambulance made 50 gallons of chili for its crews. They also invited area police officers and firefighters to help them enjoy this perfect cold weather treat.