For Rural Metro EMT Amber Seward, a sunny hot day in Rochester was a good day at work. "I love the weather," said Seward, who has been with Rural Metro for two years. "I get to be outside rather than in a building, so I really enjoy it."
But the work has its challenges. "We've got to be able to carry people out of buildings, be able to load them up into the ambulence, so that's our challenges," she said.
Seward's partner is Paramedic Michael St. Martin. He's been with Rural Metro since 2006. He said the higher the temps, the higher the volume of calls. "A lot of preventable things happen in the summertime," he observed.
St. Martin noted people can avoid trouble by taking basic steps. "Stay hydrated," he said. "Don't leave kids or pets in the car. Stay well nourished. Wear helmets when you're riding a bike."
The need for people to take care of themselves is heightened in extreme heat, especially if you're exercising, doing yard work or if you're pregnant. That was one of the calls St. Martin and Seward assisted.
The partners work a 12 hour shift, meaning their advice for others is just as important for themselves. "Have something like Gatorade or even some salty food mixed in there because you can get heat illnesses not only from water depletion but also if you lose too many electrolytes," said St. Martin.
Seward noted there is another consideration. " Time is an important thing," she said. "If you're outside all day you need to take breaks, that's usually when we run into problems."
For more information about heat safety, click here.