Valley residents brace for heat wave

August 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Temperatures across the Valley are expected to remain well into triple-digits. And when temperatures rise, local firefighters and paramedics gear up for an increase in calls.

They'll tell you they're always ready, but the one thing they can't predict is whether the public is ready.

There's no question about it, Erica Guerrero will tell you, she hates the heat. "I'm not looking forward to it its hot, way too hot."

It turns out 10-month-old Gwendolyn is just like her mom, she feels the same way. "We will let her play in the water, she'll stay in her diaper and she drinks ice water or juice with ice."

Other than wearing light clothes and drinking plenty of water, Erica says there's not much she can do except try to stay in the shade.

But shade is not an option for fire crews. Fire fighters battled a fire at Highway 41 and Adams in southern Fresno County Tuesday afternoon. They said flames aren't the only thing they had to fight. "Our body core temperatures do increase rapidly the more we're moving and chasing the fire. We do have several different outfits that we're needing to wear depending on the type of fire," said Ryan Michaels with the Fresno County Fire Department.

They do what they can to rotate crews and stay hydrated before and after fire calls.

And then there's the paramedics who are there should fire crews or the general public need help. "It's the fact that they haven't been taking in fluids for quite a long period of time and they've been in the heat through exertion or any other reason they'd be outside and you're not taking in the volume you need to," said paramedic supervisor Rhett Buehler.

Rhett Buehler with American Ambulance says when temperatures rise call volume increases. And whether people realize it, the problem may often stem from dehydration..

As for Erica and baby Gwendolyn, they do their best to keep out of the sun's reach. "We go swimming and stuff like that, stay in the water and try to keep cool like that there's not much we can do"

The paramedics at American Ambulance remind the public, if you know you're going to be outside all day, make sure you drink plenty of water beforehand -- and then monitor yourself when you're out in the heat.


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