ATCEMS gearing up for busy weekend of heat-related calls

It was a packed Deep Eddy Pool Friday afternoon, “This is what they wanted, they wanted to go to the Deep Eddy, they love to swim here,” said Carla French who brought her grandkids to the pool.

Seems water was the way to go for Central Texans to beat the heat.

But some just simply decided to sit and watch the kiddos from afar, “How the kids beat the heat, they play and they jump around in the water,” said Lee Hall who was also at the pool but stuck to the shaded spots.

With a triple digit weekend on tap and more heat advisories possible, Austin-Travis County EMS was gearing up for a busy heat-related-call weekend.

Bryan Fitzpatrick is a District Commander for ATC-EMS, “Most of the calls we do respond to that are heat-related are because people are ill prepared to be out in the sun for a period of time.” 

He hopes people are prepared before heading outside. “Prepare by having plenty of cool water, wearing light clothing and not over doing it while you’re outside.” But he said even prepared there's a chance with hot weather people can suffer from heat exhaustion or stroke.

Fitzpatrick said with heat exhaustion people will become:

  • Fatigued
  • Overly thirsty
  • Sweat a lot
  • Sometimes experience cramps

“This is a situation that is a medical emergency, but one you might be able to deal with just getting out of the heat, getting into the cool and rehydrating yourself,” Fitzpatrick said.

Heat stroke he said is much more serious. “You're sweating and your body's ability to cool itself stops and frequently what we see what that is a change in people's mental status.”

He said people will start:

  • Speaking strangely or
  • Lose consciousness

“Get out of the heat, into the cool, and call 911.” Fitzpatrick said.

If you are planning to be outside, pick cooler times of the day, early in the morning or late in the evening.