One Saskatoon man is providing a place to warm up during the cold winter nights.
Ralph Nicotine has opened the doors of his bus to provide many in Saskatoon with a warm place to be.
Often, Nicotine’s bus can be found by City Centre Church.
“We park there sometimes from 8 pm to 10 pm and we’ll stay out until 2 or 3 am. It all depends on how busy the night is,” he said.
Last year Nicotine’s bus was one that he leased and opened up for the same reasons. Using donations he bought a bus earlier this year and turned into a warming bus for people in the city.
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Maintaining the bus however has not come without its complications, he said.
“We had to get a battery pack to boost the bus. We actually had to have a heater underneath the engine to warm it up,” Nicotine said.
Warming centres across the city were reaching capacity on previous nights, especially as temperatures hit freezing lows.
According to Troy Davies, public affairs director for Medavie Health Services, Medaive has attended to a dozen cold-related calls over the past few days, ranging from frostbite to decreased circulation.
“Looks like the temperature is going to get a little better, but at the same time you’re still at risk even at -20,” he said.
Davies encouraged people braving colder temperatures to dress in layers and be inside as often as possible.
Nictoine, whose bus gets upwards of 80 people in a night, said that he’ll be there to offer help in the meantime.
“It makes a big difference when you just give someone a cup of coffee and tell that people care about you and we just want to see people get better. Hopefully a treatment centre here in Saskatoon would be great,” he said.
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