FRESNO, California (KGPE) – As temperatures rise, so do calls for heat-related medical emergencies.
“We know that any time there’s going to be a high heat advisory, we know that there’s a good chance that our call volume’s going to go up,” said Edgar Escobedo, Director of Field Operations at American Ambulance.
With triple-digit temperatures expected this week in the Central Valley, American Ambulance is anticipating a spike in calls.
“For someone who’s elderly or someone who has a number of different medical conditions, in this heat, those medical conditions can exasperate and become more complicated,” said Escobedo. “When people are hot and they’re tired, they’re going to make mistakes, and they’re going to fall or trip or injure themselves on the job or off the job.”
If it’s a high-priority life-threatening emergency, firefighters, who are certified EMTs, will come out to help as well.
“Heat emergencies are no joke,” said Fresno Fire’s Shane Brown. “I mean, they definitely can progress very quickly from just being exhausted out in the heat, which is called heat exhaustion, and it can progress fairly quickly into something called heat stroke, which is a legitimate life-threatening emergency.”
Signs of heatstroke include dizziness, confusion, and fainting.
Medical professionals say if someone starts feeling sick in the heat, get them inside or to a shaded area as soon as possible I try to get their body temperature down quickly.
“Cooling them as much as possible by just pouring water over them,” said Escobedo. “Putting ice in a bag and putting it under their armpits or on the palm of their hands.”
If the person does faint or seems disoriented, call 911 right away.