South County Fire offers tips to prevent heat-related medical emergencies

South County Fire encourages residents to prepare and take precautions with hot temperatures in the forecast for Snohomish County through Saturday.

Record-breaking temperatures in June were accompanied by record-breaking 911 call volumes. “We responded to more than 200 calls in less than 24 hours. That’s more than double our regular daily call volume,” said South County Fire Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services Shaughn Maxwell.

Most of these 911 calls were heat-related or for medical conditions exacerbated by heat, he said. Those especially vulnerable to heat-related illness include infants and young children, older adults, people with limited mobility, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions.

South County Fire offers these tips to help you prevent heat-related medical emergencies from developing during this latest heat wave:

Stay hydrated 

“It’s important to maintain healthy drinking and eating habits in the days leading up to the heat wave. During the heat wave staying hydrated with cool fluids helps the body cool itself,” Maxwell said.

Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Stay cool

“During the last heat wave, some people stayed indoors with little ventilation. Remember the shade of a tree with a breeze may be cooler than your house,” Maxwell said.

Cooling stations are open at libraries and other air-conditioned public places. Visit the Snohomish Health District website,, for a list of locations and hours. Even a few hours in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back in the heat, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Electric fans may provide some comfort but won’t prevent heat-related illness when the temperature is in the high 90s. Try cooling off with a wet towel or cool shower or bath.

Help others

Check on loved ones who may be more vulnerable to heat illnesses or may need extra help during the heat wave. Make sure they are staying hydrated and have a place to cool off.

South County Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than 250,000 residents in the cities of Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and unincorporated southwest Snohomish County.






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