High heat causing increased emergency calls

June 12, 2013

Phoenix is scorching this week, with temperatures upwards of 110 degrees expected across the metro area today. That’s about 10 degrees warmer than normal. This isn’t just uncomfortable. The weather is causing an uptick in emergency calls – and not just in the city’s urban areas.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Chris Ketterer says many of the calls come from city’s parks and trails. Ketterer spent several years doing fire rescue. He says then, like now, all kinds of people got in trouble in the heat.

“We saw young people. We saw old people. We saw men. We saw women. We saw people with questionable physical fitness to the most physically fit,” he said. “I think no one leaves their car and starts up the hill with an expectation they’re going to have a problem, do they?”

Ketterer says rescue calls to remote areas can be expensive, often costing the city more than $1,000 for the helicopter alone. Ketterer recommends hikers always bring a cell phone and more water than they think is needed.

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