AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The dog days of summer are here…but the heat is nothing to play with.
"Last year five people in Austin alone died, 490 heat-related illness visits last year alone. We don't see it getting cooler any time soon,” said Jen Samp, spokesperson with Austin Public Health.
ATCEMS says just since Wednesday they have received 18 calls regarding 20 people dealing with heat-related illnesses.
“Our patient population with these 20 patients that we've had is wide and varied, from very young to elderly. Some have occurred outside but there have been some indoor occurrences as well," said ATCEMS Captain Darren Noak. "We also had an incident yesterday that involved two children in a vehicle as well."
Noak says it's important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion before it leads to heat stroke, which has very distinct symptoms.
“Any abnormal behavior. If they are unable to respond to you, they are not making sense. A different level of consciousness that is normal for that person," Noak said.
Noak says if you work in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks as needed. If you want to do any outdoor activities, do so in the early morning or evening hours. With a big weekend coming up, Noak hopes medics do not get any serious calls.
“If you're out at Pride festival throughout the day, be cognizant of caffeinated beverages, the alcohol, exposure to the sun,” said Noak.
Officials advise everyone to check on the elderly, and neighbors during this time of year.