Ambulance crews see increase in calls during heat wave

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - When temperatures soar, ambulance crews see an increase in calls for heat related illnesses.

On Thursday, when  temperatures nearly reached triple digits, paramedics issued a strong safety warning to the public. The message is simple, excessive heat can be dangerous -- even deadly. NBC12 went on a ride-along with paramedics as they responded to heat related calls for help.

Responders at Southside Virginia Emergency Crew say the most frequent call for help during the heat is for dehydration.

"If you're outside and you've stop sweating, then you are already dehydrated. You're already behind the eight-ball. At that point you need to get inside and cool yourself off," said Lt. Chris Davidson.

On one emergency call a woman was at a business when she passed out in the hall. Employees called 911.

"She may not have been drinking fluids appropriately. She wasn't sweating much at all," said Davidson.

Responders say on days like today it's important to limit the amount of time you're outdoors.

"Most patients that experience any form of dehydration -- heat exhaustion, heat stroke -- most of them do have to go to the hospital. Some of them are actually admitted for a day or several days because of that," said Davidson.

If your job requires you to be outside for an extended amount of time take several breaks.

"Stepping into the shade sometimes can be up to 10-15 degrees cooler. A little bit of shade and breeze helps out tremendously," said Davidson.

Responders are encouraging you to keep cool and to drink plenty of water. Just a few tips to help you stay healthy during this heat wave.

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