First Responders battle heat

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –First Responders have a unique set of challenges when it gets this hot. Bossier City Fire Fighters say they have limited resources when it gets temperatures blaze because they have to rotate crews more often.

They also get more calls because of heat related illness. In addition to responding to calls, they also have to make sure they're taking care of themselves by drinking plenty of fluids and trying to stay inside in between calls. They don't do any training when in gets too hot.

Saturday they responded to some heat related calls including runners who didn't stay hydrated.

"This time of year of course we have them often because the weather is so hot. We ask that if your going to be outside this time of year with the heat that you take plenty of breaks, and drink plenty of fluids," said EMS Supervisor, Richard Kennedy.

If you start to get cramps or feel fatigued, go inside. If it continues or gets worse call 911 because you run the risk of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.

Here are the symptoms and treatments for each:

Heat Cramps- Symptoms include painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in the legs and abdomen.  Pulse varies, and heavy sweating occurs.  To treat, apply firm pressure on cramping muscles, and give sips of water .  If nausea occurs, stop giving the person water.

Heat Exhaustion- Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, cool skin, paleness, weak pulse.  Symptoms could also include possible muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and vomiting.  To treat, move individual out of the sun, lay them down, and loosen clothing. Then, apply cool, wet cloths.  Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, stop giving the person water.

Heat Stroke- Symptoms include, altered mental state, throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, high body temperature, rapid and strong pulse.  Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency.  If you think someone has heat stroke get immediate medical attention.

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