EMSA continues Medical Heat Alert in Oklahoma City metro for 13th day, metro residents experiencing range of heat-related illnesses


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – EMSA is maintaining its Medical Heat Alert, now into its 13th straight day, as paramedics continue treating Oklahoma City metro residents for a wide range of heat-related illnesses.

Paramedics responded to five suspected heat-related illness calls as of 2 p.m. Thursday.

The current Medical Heat Alert, the seventh of the summer, was activated on Aug. 21.

EMSA has treated 73 patients strictly for heat-related illness symptoms in the Oklahoma City area since the current alert began, according to Adam Paluka, EMSA Chief Public Affairs Officer.

Paluka said metro residents are experiencing multiple heat exhaustion symptoms, including mild nausea, lightheadedness and body aches. Some residents, he said, have had more serious symptoms of heat stroke, such as loss of consciousness.

EMSA officials ask that people take the following precautions when outside over the next several days:

  • PRE-HYDRATION is key in preventing heat-related illness. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours prior to and during long exposure to the summer heat.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide brimmed hat if working outdoors and take plenty of shade breaks.
  • No alcohol or caffeine. 
  • If you do not have air conditioning, find a cooling station or public space (such as libraries or malls) during the day.
  • Don’t limit your use of air conditioning. 
  • Use the buddy system if working outdoors and check on elderly neighbors.
  • Keep a cell phone on you at all times when outdoors, including walking, running daily errands, yard work or sports and physical activity.

EMSA issues Medical Heat Alerts when paramedics respond to five or more heat-related illness calls in a 24-hour period.

The Heat Alert will remain active until the temperatures and heat-related call volume decrease significantly.

The 4 Warn Forecast for the next several days is as follows:

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4 Warn Weather Forecast

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