First responders ready for heat-related calls

(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON,OK (KSWO)-Despite the break from the brutal heat Tuesday first responders have been busy with quite a few heat-related calls recently. EMS crews at Comanche County Memorial Hospital have already responded to ten calls this summer.

They're seeing a lot of people that are dehydrated and passing out from being in the sun to long. Workers said it can happen to anyone, but drinking plenty of fluids is a simple way to prevent it from happening to you. EMS crews are equipped with coolers that have bottled waters, Gatorades and IV bags.

It's only going to get hotter this summer, so they want everyone to be prepared.

On any given day temperatures can dip into the upper 90's and sometimes reach 100 degrees across Southwest, Oklahoma. As the weather changes, so does your body temperature.

"A lot of people walk around in heat exhaustion without really knowing it. You sweat, you're out in the heat, your body temperature elevates. Once you stop sweating that's when it is bad," said Lynch.

The heat can affect smaller children and older people the most, but there is one thing first responders urge people to do.

"Hydration is the key whether you are standing outside of walking or working outside you always going to be sweating when it's this hot especially when the humidity is up so really its fluids, fluids, fluids. The more fluids you take today the more it's going to help you tomorrow," said Taylor.

If someone is dehydrated or having a heat stroke first responders have to act quickly.

"Well the number 1 thing we do is remove them from the heat. We get them in somewhere either inside or in the ambulance, but you have to remove them from the source of the heat," said Taylor.

Next, they remove any loose or tight fit clothing.

"Then once we do that we start giving them water. Our rule is that you can not give them anything by mouth if they can't follow commands. So, if they can follow demands we will give them water start cooling them off. It they need more than that we use towels packed in ice" said Taylor.

Fire crews and police officers also assist with EMS workers on heat related calls. Aching muscles and cramps are early signs that someone may be feeling like they are going to pass out.

"Later on down the road you start getting light headed, dizziness, your pulse starts going a little faster and you can feel your hear beating a little more, and they your later signs are whenever you go unconscious, and hallucinate," said Bailey.

Before fire crews hit the streets, Bailey said they always start the day before by drinking plenty of water. Plus, they always keep a cooler of water in their trucks.

Over at the police department officers have similar plans

"We carry a cooler in my trunk that way if we want a bottle of water at any given time, or if I'm out on a call dealing with the hot weather I can get it. A lot of guys also have IceCops that you put inside your car on the air conditioner, you put it on your vest and it keeps you cool throughout the day," said Jenkins.

Sergeant Jenkins said if someone looks dehydrated or passes out always call 911 and if you have a bottle of water give it to them until help arrives.

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