High temperatures have put emergency response crews on alert - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

High temperatures have put emergency response crews on alert

LAWTON, Okla._The current heat advisory has paramedics in the area on alert and preparing for a possible rise in heat-related calls.

The ambulance crew at Comanche County Memorial Hospital says the delay in getting our typical high temperatures has led to a lower than usual number of calls for help. But now that the heat wave is in full force, they're preparing for more.

It can only take a few minutes for someone to become exhausted from the heat. And for children left behind in a car, the temperatures can rise past 140 degrees quickly. Luckily, Comanche County Memorial EMT's have not seen an increase in the calls yet, but they are preparing for it as it gets closer to August.

"This year, it's just hit or miss. As people go out to the refuge and get more exposure to heat and long-term heat exposure, that's when we'll get those calls," said EMS Manager Richie Bohach.

Bohach explained that as it gets closer to August, the rain becomes less frequent. That doesn't necessarily mean it will become dryer and that the weather could still be humid which makes it harder for someone to perspire and remove the heat from their body. Bohach says he's also responded to a fair share of children being left in the car and hears some of the same excuses.

"I think people just get in too big a hurry and they don't have the awareness to take those precautions and know that the child might be in the back seat," said Bohach.

When someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, their face turns red and they experience weakness, nausea, and may even faint; so when EMT's respond to the calls, they have to move quickly.

"Move them into a cooler environment. We use water and IV fluids to cool them down," said Bohach.

He also said while taking care of others, he stresses the importance to his staff to take care of themselves.

"They'll pack ice in the vehicles. We pack cold water. We pack lots of towels so the crews can wet the towels and put them around their necks. It's not uncommon to get on an extended scene where there's a lot for them to do and be exposed to a lot more heat," said Bohach.

Bohach says someone isn't overheated when they're sweating profusely, but when they stop sweating. When a person stops sweating it means their body is internalizing the heat.

 

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