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North Texas emergency crews on alert as temperatures soar

Since May 1, MedStar crews have treated 131 people for heat-related emergencies.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Just like the temperatures in North Texas, emergency responses are up for MedStar field supervisor George Church and his crews. 

When it comes to the heat so far this year, it's about to get even hotter.

Church has been with MedStar for about 35 years and now serves as a field supervisor. He has seen it all when it comes to emergency responses.

But what concerns him most is the fact that in many cases heat-related illnesses can be prevented with the right precautions. 

His company tries to warn people ahead of time as much as possible, especially since heat stroke can creep up on anyone who is not careful in extreme temperatures.

Church said, "It's when you have medical conditions that just can make that a lot of a lot more severe and succumb to those injuries a lot quicker."

Since May 1, 2022, MedStar crews have treated 131 people for heat-related emergencies: 83 required hospitalizations, 18 were in serious condition and three of the patients ended up in critical condition.

Church warns that, contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be exposed to the dun for an extended amount of time before needing help. The heat can impact every person differently based on their tolerance, height, weight, hydration and pre-existing conditions. 

Normal activity can quickly turn into an emergency when the temperatures are up.

Due to heat indexes being greater than 105, MedStar implemented its extreme weather protocol to give outside patient's higher priority. 

Since temperatures are expected to reach the triple digits during the next few weeks, even state occupational leaders are sounding the alarm. That's because nearly three out of four heat-illness fatalities happen during the first week of work. 

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, urges employers to remind workers about water, rest and shade.

Paramedics and EMTs encourage the same warnings.

"So, heat related injuries, heat exhaustion, stroke, are preventable. That's why you should be taking breaks, drinking plenty of fluids and being in the shade."

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