Inmates pitch in to beat the heat - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Inmates pitch in to beat the heat

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - As the Mid-South battles scorching heat, Shelby County inmates are lending an ear to help residents keep their cool.

"We definitely don't want to see a situation like what happened last year when we had the deaths...in the teens," said Andrew Tabor, Director of the Shelby County Department of Corrections.

That's why roughly 16 Shelby County inmates are working seven days a week, answering calls on the county's heat line.

According to Tabor, the line has received hundreds of calls from the elderly and others worried about the heat.  Their biggest concern: where they can receive a fan or air conditioner, or where cooling centers are located.

"Right now it's all about heat...places you can go to get out this weather," Tabor said.
 
The inmates assist the callers by taking their information and referring them to the appropriate community services agency, which then determines who is eligible to receive help.

For the inmates, it's not only a chance to to enhance their communication skills, but a way to give something back to the community.

You can reach the Shelby County Heat Line at 901-545-HEAT.

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