Hot Weather Leads To Increase In Calls For Paramedics

Alan Scaia
July 10, 2019 - 8:48 am
Hot Weather, Heat Stroke

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for dozens of counties in North, Central and East Texas with heat index values forecast to reach 110 degrees. DFW Airport reached 96 degrees Tuesday; the heat index hit 106 degrees.

MedStar, the ambulance provider in Fort Worth, responded to 11 calls about the heat Tuesday. Ten people went to the hospital; two people ​were serious, one person was critical.

"We are in a very high growth area, so there may be people moving here from other parts of the country who aren't used to this North Texas heat," says MedStar's Matt Zavadsky.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging people who work outside to take frequent breaks in shade or air conditioning. Zavadsky says people who need to be outside should also wear light colored, loose-fitting clothes, drink water ahead of time and stay hydrated while they work.

He says people should also learn how to spot the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in themselves or others and know how to take action to keep the issue from escalating into a case that needs hospitalization.

"We do try to remind everybody every year of the same issues, much like when you fly on an airplane, the flight attendants review with you you how to use your seat belt," Zavadsky says. "You really need those reminders to keep it top of mind. Otherwise, you may become complacent."

A separate Heat Advisory is in effect in for four counties in South Texas, covering Brownsville and McAllen.

An Excessive Heat Warning includes Wichita and Clay Counties and stretches into Oklahoma. The heat index there could reach 115 degrees.