HEMSI has transported 17 people for heat-related emergencies so far this week and the medical service already has a plan in place to bring in extra staff for heat and the Fourth of July weekend.
Don Webster, chief operating officer for HEMSI, said the service transported nine people on Monday, six on Tuesday and two on Wednesday for heat-related emergencies.
"We're bringing in extra people because of the heat factor," said Webster. "It's alarming and something you have to take notice of, that paired with the holiday. Yes, the fourth of July is on Wednesday but people are going to celebrate starting this weekend."
With celebrations, of course, come libations and Webster says beyond the obvious mind games it can play, alcohol and extreme heat do not mix.
"Alcohol will kill you, I mean it dehydrates you much and it's a lot easier to get dehydrated than it is to rehydrate."
Webster says people need to make sure they watch young children, the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions and pets.
Webster also said for those planning to shoot fireworks, be very careful and cautious because this is the beginning of the fireworks season. He said HEMSI has already had to transport a teenager with serious injuries from fireworks.
"It causes everything from personal injuries to fires," Webster said. "It's so dry it won't take much for a fire."
Webster recommends these tips to stay safe in extreme heat:
- Drink Plenty of Water
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- Wear Loose, Lightly Colored Clothing
- Take Frequent Breaks
- Remain in Air Conditioning as Much as Possible
- Keep a Watchful Eye on Friends & Family