WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With much of our area under heat advisories, first responders are concerned with getting more heat-related emergency calls.
Grab your water bottles because staying hydrated is the first step. The next is to stay inside as much as possible, but first responders said they’re most worried about our senior citizens whose homes feel just as hot as it does outside.
Central EMS Battalion Chiefs, Josh Kuykendall and Shawna Ross said now is the time to call and check in on grandma or grandpa.
Many of our seniors like to keep their homes warm, which may not be in their best interest with temperatures projected to hit triple digits in the coming days, or maybe their retirement funds aren’t enough to cover proper cooling in their homes.
“Times seem harder now than in years past and they may be going without running the AC and stuff like that,” Kuykendall said.
Ross also said seniors are of the generation that doesn’t generally complain, so they aren’t likely to reach out if they need a fan or help with their air conditioning. All these factors combined have Central EMS expecting an increase in heat exhaustion and heatstroke calls for elderly folks.
The Farmington Fire Chief, William Hellard, has his team ready to respond to these calls as well, saying older folks are more susceptible to heat injuries.
“If they have nausea, vomiting, decreased level of consciousness, they’re sweating excessively and they can’t stop, that’s when you need to call 911 and get checked out,” Chief Hellard said.
Chief Hellard said heat can send anyone to the hospital though. So to avoid it, drink lots of water, have a wet towel for your neck ready to go, and stay inside as much as possible.
For those, such as our seniors, who’re spending most of their time indoors already, Central EMS and Chief Hellard say to check in and make sure it’s properly cooled inside to avoid having to give them a call.