FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – MedStar emergency crews took more than a dozen people to the hospital Saturday for heat-related illnesses. Crews used the “Extreme Weather Response” policy this weekend because of scorching temperatures in North Texas.
It was a steady day treating people overcome by the heat as CBS 11 spent the day with MedStar operations supervisor, Brian White. During the ride-along, he responded to two heat-related calls.
Both men were in the hot sun when they called for help. The first was taken to the hospital while the second was treated at the scene.
Most of Saturday’s calls were for heat exhaustion, which is when the body overheats. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches and muscle cramps. A few calls were upgraded to heat strokes.
“Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Your body has lost all control to regulate its temperature, and it’s starting to be in the shutdown process. You can suffer anything from seizures to being unconscious,” said White.
MedStar used its “Extreme Weather Response” policy to get to patients sooner.
“Whenever the heat index climbs to 105, all calls that are outside are a lights-and-sirens response. That way we can get to them quicker and hopefully be able to get them inside somewhere cool faster to avoid a heat-related incident,” said White.
White said it’ll also take priority over different calls. He suggests listening to the body’s symptoms and taking precautions.
“Get out of the heat.. start drinking water and cool yourself down. If you can get inside air conditioning, with preferably a breeze, absolutely do it. And then just relax. That’s pretty much it,” said White.