CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On hot days like today, EMS crews say their call volume for heat-related problems goes up on days like today.
“When the temperature gets hot outside the ambulances definitely get busy with people calling in and heat exhaustion, heat stress,” said Richard Syms, the Fire Marshal for Charleston Fire Department.
Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. David Hodges a Lieutenant for Charleston Fire Department says some signs to look out for are, “If you’re not sweating, if you’re to the point where you’re not sweating, you probably need to seek medical attention.”
And excessive heat can affect anyone, but experts advise checking on those who don’t have easy access to air conditioning. “It could be anything from children up to the elderly. Unfortunately, some folks don’t have the benefit of air-conditioning You know things like that so it does take a toll on the elderly a lot more,” added Hodges.
The best way to avoid overheating is to stay hydrated. “The big thing for us is just telling people to drink water, stay hydrated, definitely if you’re going to be outside for a long time,” says Syms.
“Sometimes water just doesn’t’ do the trick, you need other nutrients or things like that so if you can get a sports drink supplement or something like that to replace some of the electrolytes that’s significant and big to help,” added Hodges.
It’s also important to know the difference between heat exhaustion & heat stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the two are similar.
A reminder that cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open on days like today as well. So don’t leave your child or pet in the car.