Sudden wave of heat, humidity keeping Oklahoma City paramedics busy


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After a rainy, cool few weeks – the heat is on in Oklahoma – with EMSA issuing its first heat alert of the year.

Yesterday, they responded to nine heat-related calls in the Oklahoma City metro.

The warmer weather comes at a busy time in OKC – with the softball national championship taking place today. 

After a rainy start, it’s business as usual for the most part at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.

Fans who frequent any diamond know a little sweat is part of the game.

“We were really fortunate because a lot of times during this event, because it starts the same time every year, the Thursday after Memorial Day weekend, it can be a lot warmer,” said Craig Cress,  CEO of USA Softball.

This year, due to COVID-19, there are some changes.

Water fountains are shut down, so they’ve found ways to keep fans hydrated.

“So we’ve opened up concession lines so the fans have an opportunity to go in and get a 12 ounce cup of water for nothing,” Cress said.

Fans have also been able to bring in unopened water bottles – anything to keep everyone hydrated and safe.

“We have EMSA onsite,” said Cress. “All of our ushers, staff and personnel have radios so they can get directly to EMSA if there are any issues, if someone gets overheated or something like that.”

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First responders have been busy.

Just recently, Oklahoma City firefighters rescued a man who became overheated working on top of his RV.

They say symptoms to watch for start with heat cramps, followed by heat exhaustion.

“You’re still sweating but more profuse sweating,  your body temperature is starting to get up to 102 and you’re getting a little bit dizzy,” said Maj. James Young, a paramedic with the OKC Fire Dept.

The final step – heat stroke.

“You get the hot dry skin and a lot of times you lose consciousness with heat stroke – that’s the worst,” Young said.

It’s important to take breaks, drink plenty of water, find shade and a nice breeze.

“That’s the good thing about the wind in Oklahoma,” said Cress. 

Oklahoma City Fire has already responded to 12 calls of children in hot cars this year.

One popular method to prevent this is leaving your purse, cell phone, or anything else you’ll need in the back seat so you’ll remember your child.

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