Shelby County expects number of heat calls to rise

Shelby County expects number of heat calls to rise

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Sizzling rays are baking the Mid-South during a heat wave. 

Soaring triple digit heat indexes prompted the City of Memphis to reopen cooling centers through the weekend. The centers will provide relief from the extreme temperatures and possibly cut down heat emergencies.

In the past five days, county paramedics have been called out to a half-dozen heat-related emergencies, and they expect that number to climb.

The heat index neared 105 degrees Wednesday, making it dangerous for anyone to be outside for extended periods of time without being prepared.

"Temperatures tip up then so do the calls," Brent Perkins with the Shelby County Fire Department said.

Shelby County ambulances are fully stocked year-round. But during these hot summer months when heat can be seen radiating off sidewalks and streets, supplies like IV fluids and cooling pads are kept close at hand for paramedics.

"Our crews are staying on top of that, our firefighters are staying in gear," Perkins said. "Everyone is making sure we are prepared to handle the elevated temperatures."

Half of those six heat-related emergency calls over the past five days were significant. It's another reason we all need to take precaution during this time of the year.

"Prepare yourself," Perkins said. "Get hydrated. Get cool. And if it's too hot get out of the heat. We overextend so often and so frequently that people are in trouble before they even realize it."

Listen to your body giving you warning signs you may be in danger. Not sweating, a throbbing headache, and a rapid pulse are signs it may be time to call for help.

Be proactive about staying safe in the heat, especially as temperatures get close to 100 this week.

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