Guest Column: Just Cool It

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Just cool it because temperatures won’t be so cool this week. Add in some humidity and this will put an even greater strain on us. Extreme heat is a potential health concern. It’s the first big heat wave of the season and more are in store…

These conditions can overload your system and lead to heat-related illness and even death. Heat kills more people in the U.S. than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined, according to the National Weather Service.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Heat exhaustion is characterized by significant sweating, loss of color, cramps, fatigue, fainting and dizziness.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. If the body temperature is over 103 degrees, dry skin, high heart rate, confusion and even unconsciousness can occur. 

If you see someone affected with symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 and get them out of the sun immediately. Cool them down with cool water, towels and fans and loosen or remove clothing.

Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. For more information on the health concerns of extreme heat, visit

There’s more to come regarding summer heat, but in the meantime, keep it cool!