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Snakes and Snake Bites

What to do following a snake bite:

Do

  • Remain calm.
  • Immediately call 911.
  • Immobilize the bitten area.
  • Keep affected area at or below the heart.
  • Limit victim's movements.
  • Remove all jewelry (i.e. rings, bracelets, watch, etc.), restrictive clothing and any constricting items before swelling occurs.
  • Safely try to observe snake's identifying traits (i.e. colors, patterns and size).

Don't

  • Don't use a tourniquet.
  • Don't drink or apply alcohol.
  • Don't cut or suck the wound.
  • Don't apply ice.
  • Don't attempt to kill the snake.
  • Don't touch/handle a dead snake.
  • Prevention Tips

    • Be cautious around shrubs, tall grass, and areas surrounding canals, lakes and swamps.
    • Always wear protective gloves and shoes when working outdoors.
    • Look before sitting stepping or reaching near or around rocks and logs.
    • Avoid placing hands in areas that are hidden or concealed.
    • Use caution when cleaning debris after natural disasters (i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, floods) for displaced and frightened snakes.
  • Dangerous Critters in Your Backyard

    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue offers a program intended for students and aimed at prevention, safety, and first aid for bites and stings from dangerous critters. A presentation may be scheduled by calling the Community Relations Bureau at 786-331-5000.

    For more information on Florida snakes, download the Venomous Snakes of Florida brochure provided by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Venom Response Bureau.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Call 911

Florida Poison Information Center Network: 800-222-1222

Fire Rescue
Dave Downey
Fire Chief

R. David Paulison Fire Rescue Headquarters
9300 NW 41st Street, Miami, FL 33178-2414
786-331-5000786-331-5000

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