Merced County providing residents ways to beat the heat

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It was game on between campers and police. This week, however, the two teams are facing a bigger challenge together: the triple digit heat. (KFSN)

It was game on between campers and police and while they're playing against each other on the court at MAD Kids Camp, the program's goal is to get these two teams to work together in the future.

"We want to create those partnerships right now to keep them off the streets and not get involved in gangs," said Brett Prieto, Madera Police.

This week, however, the two teams are facing a bigger challenge together: the triple digit heat.

"We had games yesterday, we were going to do some outside but it was way too hot, so we brought everything indoor," said Prieto.

Officers with the program said several fans and water bottles were donated to keep the campers hydrated for the week and EMS is also sticking nearby.

"We'll blow the whistle, they'll go to their stations and get water," said Prieto.

The high temperature can be felt throughout the Central Valley. In Merced County, dozens of libraries are available as cooling zones to keep people out of the heat.

"We're able to provide bottled water. Get in, get out of the elements, and drink some water," said Jeremy Rahn, Merced County Fire.

The City of Merced's Fire Department said this time of year they respond to more heat-related calls, and encourage people to take advantage of the cooling centers.

"When they're outside and exerting themselves in this type of heat, and are just out and about in it, they can come up with heat illnesses that we're trying to prevent," said Shawn Henry, City of Merced Fire Chief.

Physicians said this is also the peak time for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. They recommend light colored clothing, a lot of water and sunscreen, and to plan for the day.

"Keep your activities, or whatever it is, indoors. Keep it indoors," said Dr. Eduardo Villarama, Golden Valley Health Center.

The MAD Kids program is taking their advice and plan to find ways to beat the heat.

"We're going to be moving all our football games inside for the afternoon," said Prieto.

Buses are providing free rides to the nearest cooling centers. The bus fare for the fixed route will be waived for the rest of the week because of the heat.

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