Hospital, VFD: Heat-related calls on rise

·1 min read

Jul. 23—Emergency personnel have responded to several calls of people experiencing heat-related issues, and they say it's common this time of year.

Mike Cates, Northeastern Health System EMS director, said the majority of heat-related calls are made between 1 and 6 p.m.

"We have had three calls in May, six calls in June, and five calls so far in July for heat-related [situations]," Cates said.

The body feels warmer in humid conditions and cooler in arid conditions. If a person is exposed to direct sunlight, the heat index value can increase by up to 15 degrees.

The Illinois River Volunteer Fire Department has responded to a number of calls wherein someone is experiencing issues due to the heat. Assistant Fire Chief Joel Skinner said the most two common symptoms are dizziness and exhaustion.

"The majority [of these people] are on the river, but sometimes, it's people simply working on their property or at home," said Skinner.

IRVFD has responded to three calls so far this month wherein a person has fainted.

The warning signs of heat exhaustion are nausea, fatigue, dizziness, profusely sweating, and muscle cramping. Heat exhaustion doesn't require immediate medical attention while heat stroke does.

Experts say 911 should be immediately called if someone is experiencing a rapid heart rate or vomiting, is disoriented, or is not sweating. A heat stroke can occur if the body temperature reaches 104 degrees or higher.

Cherokee Nation was contacted for comment about CN EMS heat-related incidents, but calls were not returned by press time.