Water is sprayed on ambulances to cool the vehicles down and crews quickly fill up coolers – all before heading out on calls.
8News shadowed the Richmond Ambulance Authority to see — first-hand — how they respond to heat-related injuries as the mercury rises.
“We're always concerned about our elderly and our very young population,” says Dempsey Whitt, Richmond Ambulance Authority Director of Operations. “They seem to be the most susceptible to heat-related types of injuries.”
Within minutes of getting into a vehicle, we get a call.
We're responding off Chamberlayne Avenue – and rush to the scene.
Of the 30 ambulances available — 24 were actively on the road this afternoon. When the temperatures soar — one of the main symptoms crews look for is ensuring people are sweating. That's the body's natural defense against the heat.
“They've been out and their body is not producing sweat anymore — that's a huge indicator or sign for us that and along with an altered mental status,” Whitt says.
When crews are dealt with a serious situation, they have to cool the victims down quickly, get IVs started and re-hydrate them before transporting them to medical facilities.