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Paramedics: heat-related emergency calls way up

When emergency calls come in, Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services - or MEMS - paramedics head out. These days, with 100-degree temperatures being the norm, they're heading out a lot.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - When emergency calls come in, Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services - or MEMS - paramedics head out. These days, with 100-degree temperatures being the norm, they're heading out a lot.

"When the heat gets this bad, it's not what's expected so we're not as prepared as a public as we should be," said Paramedic Latisha Johnson.

In fact, MEMS paramedics say they've responded to at least five or six heat-related calls per day lately. Tuesday night, they checked-out a girl at the Metroplex in Little Rock because she passed out after standing in a long line to get into a concert.

"Especially children," said Johnson, "we want to look out for them as well cause sometimes they get out in the heat and they play and they don't realize what's happening to their bodies."

We've all heard it before, Johnson says the key is to stay hydrated -- something she and her fellow paramedics, who are out there in the sun helping us everyday, make sure to do.

Said Johnsnon, "I bring a 32-ounce jug of water with me, and I fill that thing up probably four times a day."

Here's one more note: Health Department officials say everyone should drink about four eight-ounce glasses of water on a normal day, but in these temperatures, they recommend drinking twice as much.
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