Emergency services calls go up as heat wave grips city
Winnipeggers keep cool Monday at a splash pad. Temperatures soared to 31 C Monday, part of a week-long forecast heat wave.
Published Monday, July 2, 2012 4:18PM CST
Last Updated Monday, July 2, 2012 4:27PM CST
Temperatures soared this weekend and are forecast to hover around 30 C for the remainder of the week, leaving Winnipeggers to find creative ways to keep cool – and safe.
Monday the mercury rose to 31 C by 5 p.m. but with the humidex temperatures felt more like 39 C.
Emergency services have responded to over a dozen calls related to heat exhaustion Sunday and Monday.
“Most of our heat calls were related to the elderly, disabled and very young,” said Superintendent Gord Ulrich of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
Those in the air conditioning business have also been kept busy. Felix Gelman of Fair Service Heating and Air Conditioning said he has responded to 35 overheated customers in just two days. That number is almost seven times his normal volume of calls, Gelman said.
People can potentially avoid a broken down air conditioner by checking the filter often and making sure it’s clean, he said. The outside of the unit should also be cleaned, he added.
But not everyone has access to air conditioning, leaving some to find more creative ways to stay comfortable.
Richard Marquez, a father of two, brought his sons to one of the city’s spray pads Monday.
“I thought it would be a good way to beat the heat with the water,” said Marquez.
And Marquez said he’ll be coming back, as temperatures are expected to remain unseasonably warm throughout the week.
Meteorologist Jay Anderson said the heat wave comes from a build up of heat from the United States making its way across the border.
According to Anderson though, there may be some relief in sight soon.
“We have another day and a half of this kind of high humidity and then it looks like a fairly weak cold front,” said Anderson. “It wont do very much for the temperatures, but it will drop the humidity.”
Forecasters said the first half of 2012 has been the second hottest on record since 1946.
Experts offer the following tips to remain cool and safe during the heatwave:
- Avoid going out midday
- Wear loose, light clothing
- Wear a hat
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Stay in air-conditioned environments if possible