MCFRS News Release

Warning - Emergency Responders Take Precautions

Summer-like Temperatures and Heat Index on the Rise!

The National Weather Service indicates that temperatures will be warmer than average for this time of the year in the metropolitan area. When certain weather conditions exist the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will also issue warnings to our fire and rescue personnel. A Heat Advisory means that the combination of high temperatures and humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat related injuries are possible.

In fact, when the heat index or "humiture" reaches 94 degrees fire and rescue personnel are advised to suspend all strenuous outside non-emergency activities. When the heat index or "humiture" reaches 97 degrees ALL non-emergency outdoor activities are cancelled.

The men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service respond to a variety of emergency calls for assistance, some of which require strenuous activity. We constantly monitor our emergency responder's physical condition and throughout the day remind them to hydrate. Most emergency response units carry large water jugs to help with this effort. Frequently during extreme weather periods, we will call for the services of a canteen/rehab unit and/or air conditioned busses to the scenes of emergencies.

REMINDER: High heat this early in the season means that most people's bodies are not accustomed to the warm outdoor conditions. Knowing the symptoms of heat exposure can prevent serious heat illness from becoming life threatening. Should the following occur, be sure to get out of the heat, loosen any tight or heavy clothing, apply cool and wet clothes, such as towels or sheets, and drink plenty of cool water (1/2 glass every 15 minutes). If more extreme symptoms occur, seek emergency medical attention by calling 911.

Symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs. Note: lightly stretch the muscle, if possible.
First signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea and weakness.
Is the most serious sign of overexposure. Get help fast! Call 911! Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness.

The current heat wave calls for high temperatures, along with ozone levels that can be hazardous to some people. Most at risk are young children, the elderly and people with health problems such as asthma that are susceptible to heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Stay indoors in air conditioning. When outdoors, wear proper protection from the sun. Light colored clothing, a hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water. Eat small healthy meals and eat more often. Slow down - take it easy.

Survive the Heat!