Keeping cool in extreme temperatures

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The heat index hit 107 degrees outside. While most people stayed indoors for as much as possible Monday, some jobs do not allow any time to cool down.

EMT’s are some of the first people on scene of accidents, fires or medical problems. They work outside in extreme temperatures but what does it take for these people who save lives to keep cool?

“You’ve gotta be able to make that call and say for the betterment of the community, and myself, I need to go sit down, I need to get some water I need to get some ac and I need to rest for a little bit,” said Clint Leahew, EMT for AMR.

The EMT’s for the American Medical Response in Topeka work 12 hour or 24 hour shifts. On average, they will go out on six to eight calls in a day, no matter what the weather is.

“Getting acclimated to the heat, if you’re out in it throughout the day, your body gets used to the heat, compared to someone that doesn’t go out into the heat,” said Joe Blecha, clinical and educational specialist for AMR.

They have to focus on the patient.

“We all got in this profession because we want to help people. And it’s really tough to step back and look at yourself and say ok maybe i’m not 100% right now,” said Leahew.

And make sure they are taken care of before EMT’s can worry about themselves.

“You’ve got to be right there with the patient, you can’t just run back to the truck and sit in the a/c, you’ve got to make sure you can give care to the person as soon as they come out. And that will run you down very quickly,” said Leahew.

An EMT can be on the scene of an accident for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, and when the heat index is pushing 110 and more, that is tough.

“Just the sun beating down on you, you get hot, you can get sunburned. It just really takes the energy out of you,” said Leahew.

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