by Mary Rupert
People in Wyandotte County seem to be coping fairly well with the high temperatures and heat advisories this week.
Kansas City, Kan., Assistant Fire Chief Craig Duke, public information officer, said that there were only three heat-related calls so far during this time. The three were treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital for evaluation, he added.
The Fire Department has a plan that will be put into place for firefighters in the event of extreme heat. Duke said personnel are rotated more quickly, and extra apparatus are brought in to relieve the firefighters on the scene.
Also, on days like today, an air-conditioned vehicle is brought to the scene so that firefighters can sit in it to cool off, and drink fluids to replace electrolytes, he said.
A heat advisory continues in effect today, as temperatures are expected to reach a high of 93, with a heat index as high as 99 degrees. There have been several days of high temperatures. Temperatures currently are predicted to decline a few degrees in the next few days.
“We have only had two heat-related cases in the last week,” said Bob Hallinan, spokesman for the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. “Neither were admitted; they were brought in, treated, given plenty of fluids, cooled off and released.”
People may be paying attention to the warnings they hear about the hot weather, he added. “When it gets this hot, people actually do pay attention to the media and stay in,” he said.
Many students started school last week, and athletic practices have already started. Most students are in air-conditioned classes during the hottest part of the day.
“We’re lucky. Our facilities are all air-conditioned with the exception of a couple gyms,” said Jason Dandoy, spokesman for the Turner Public Schools. “One of those we are replacing as part of the Oak Grove Elementary School.”
Dandoy said Turner’s learning environments are not affected. “When kids come back from recesses, we’re making sure they are well hydrated.”
The Turner athletic department has delayed the start of athletic practices on high heat days, and also is giving the students frequent water breaks, he said.
Doug Key, Piper athletic director, said the Piper football coaches are using the Kansas State High School Activities Association guidelines on giving water when they should, and students are not wearing all of their equipment until it is needed.
The time of the practices has not had to be altered, he added. So, far, there have been no heat-related illnesses there. Piper is planning its Purple-White scrimmage on Thursday.