Tips for working outside in the dangerous Mid-South heat

·2 min read

At this point, we really have few other options than to get used to this extreme heat for a couple of weeks.

That’s easier said than done if you don’t have air conditioning or you have to be outside.

Construction workers are just some of the people who don’t have the luxury of working in the A/C.

“I’ve been outside every day since Dec. 1 of last year,” David Pollan said.

RELATED: “It’s been overwhelming”: HVAC companies slammed with calls during dangerous heatwave

Pollan is used to the Memphis heat. He’s been working on a construction project on Highland Street every day this summer.

“You try to grab some shade while you can. You can’t very often, but you’ve just got to stay hydrated and don’t eat heavy,” he said.

As temperatures reach the triple digits again, FOX13 found several people bracing the sweltering conditions.

They tell us it’s something you can get used to, but still, it’s not for everyone.

“You can’t get someone out of the air conditioning and put them in the heat. You have to gradually go into it,” Tony Brandon, a construction worker in Memphis said.

DeWayne Rose is the director of emergency management for the City of West Memphis.

He said every summer they respond to 911 calls of people suffering from heat-related illnesses.

“Normally it’s personnel who are working outdoors who are not acclimated to the conditions,” Rose said.

Rose said paramedics work to get people with heat exhaustion or stroke symptoms into a cool environment and fluids back into their bodies.

But, even the people tasked to help are at risk.

“Our law enforcement officers, they’re wearing their gun belts and their bulletproof vests, and our firefighters are wearing the protective equipment, and all of that just adds to the amount they’re already experiencing,” he said.

When out in the heat, Rose said it’s important to pay attention to your body.

“Have plenty of water. Take frequent breaks. Just be safe. No one knows your body like you do. So, if you’re not feeling right, something is off, don’t ignore it,” he said.

Signs of heat exhaustion include a headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, and cramps.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. That happens when your body is unable to control its internal temperature.

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency and Rose said people experiencing symptoms need to be evaluated in the hospital immediately.

Some of the signs of heat stroke are confusion and dizziness. You may even stop sweating, which is a very bad sign.

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