Rockford EMS workers prepare for treating heat illnesses - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford EMS workers prepare for treating heat illnesses

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

First responders are usually the ones helping people who struggle with high temperatures.

EMS workers say they follow the same precautions everyone else should - staying hydrated, but unlike everyone else they can't avoid exertion in the heat.

The name of the game is staying cool for ems workers when the temperature hits triple digits.

"Try to spend as much time in the office as we can when we're not on call in the air conditioning trying to keep ourselves in shape for when we have to go out on call and take care of the public that is having problems," explains Metro Medical paramedic Brian Meinders.

Two groups of people are most susceptible to heat related illness: seniors and homeless people.

"They're out there wandering in the heat and they don't realize how hot they're getting and before they know it they're in trouble because they're too far from somewhere to relax and cool down and get something to drink," said Metro EMT Cesar Aviles.

For the most part heat related calls are slightly down compared to this time last year. Most are for "trouble breathing" emergencies.

"I think everybody's been doing a pretty good job listening to the weathermen and actually heading their warnings and staying out of the heat," said Meinders.

Metro paramedics are concerned about the number of calls going up this weekend as people head outdoors and bring alcohol into the mix.

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