May 19, 2022- Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) and Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) encourage Richmond area residents to take precautions to avoid heat related illness this weekend.
“Severe hot weather can pose risks to individuals’ health,” says Jessica Coughlin, Emergency Manager at RHHD. “Folks can still have fun this summer while staying safe… just stay aware of the temperature, personal health considerations, and safety precautions.”
“Unfortunately, we can see an uptick in heat related illnesses and calls when temperatures get really high,” says Chad Greedan, Director of Field Operations at RAA. “We want to help the community recognize the signs of heat illness so they don’t have an emergency situation.”
RHHD and RAA recommend the following to remain safe during high temperatures:
Stay cool indoors. Stay in air-conditioned places as much as possible. If air conditioning your home is difficult, consider spending some time in a public library, shopping mall, or other public air conditioned building. Taking a cool shower or bath and minimizing the use of the stove and oven can help keep a lower temperature in the house. Wear light and loose clothing. Electric fans will not prevent heat related illness if the temperature is above 90 degrees.
Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Try to limit outdoor activities to when it’s coolest like in the morning or evening. Rest often in shady areas.
Stay hydrated. Drink more fluids, avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks, and replace salt and minerals. Keep your pets hydrated with cool water, too!
Know the signs for heat related illness and how to respond. If a person has heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin, a fast and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headaches, or is feeling faint, they likely have heat exhaustion. Move to a cool place, loosen clothes, put cool, wet cloths on your body, and sip water. Seek medical help if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse, your symptoms last longer than an hour. If a person has a high body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, hot and red skin, a fast and strong pulse, confusion, or loses consciousness, they likely have heat stroke. Call 911 right away, move that person to a cooler place, and do not give them anything to drink.
For more information on heat related illness, visit the CDC’s website.
About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.
About the Richmond Ambulance Authority: In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the City Manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City’s residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to nearly 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 150 patients per day. RAA is one of only 32 EMS agencies in the United States accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. RAA’s staff has consistently received local, state, and national recognition for their work in EMS. In 2020 RAA staff members were recognized by the Old Dominion EMS Alliance (ODEMSA) in four categories at the ODEMSA Regional Awards.