First responders prepare themselves and others for soaring temperatures


NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Soaring temperatures will linger around for the time being, which puts stress on our first responders as they are receiving hundreds of calls for heat-related illnesses putting some people in the hospital.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said they are prepared. Since last Friday, they’ve received 40 heat-related calls.

“Once the heat index gets over 100, we have our rehab box 4, which is a group of volunteers that support the fire department, they respond to every working fire in the city to provide additional cooling measures, cooling fans, cold towels, additional water,” said Dallas Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Scott Clumpner.

They’ll add additional fire trucks to swap in crews and have specially designated community paramedics doing medical outreach for those out in the elements.

“They work with the office of homeless solutions and if our firefighters see a need on somebody while they are on an incident, they can reach out through their supervisor to have medic that specially trained,” added Clumpner.

At MedStar in Fort Worth, they’ve responded to almost 400-calls from May 1 through July 5 of this year, which is nearly double from this time last year.

“And we’re really concerned about what the rest of the summer is going to look like,” said MedStar Spokesperson Matt Zavadsky.

Organizations like the Visiting Nurse Association’s Meals on Wheels in Dallas are helping out too.

“Really, a big part of what we do this time of year, we check on people to see if they need a fan,” said Chris Culak, vice president, chief of strategy of the Visiting Nurse Association.

Last year, they handed out 400 of them and are doing it again right now.

“If we deliver all our meals say in kind of that mid-morning time frame and someone needs one, we can sometimes get one to somebody that afternoon,” added Culak.

Experts said those who are most at risk are the elderly, young children, people who are not used to this climate and those who have to work outside. They said if you need to be out, hydrate and drink plenty of water.

“Our primary concern is that the extended triple-digit weather that is predicted is going to begin to create even more heat-related illnesses because not only is heat related illnesses primary condition but people who have heart conditions, diabetes, emphysema, those kind of conditions are often made worse in this kind of weather,” said Zavadsky.

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