Sweltering state of emergency
by Michael Langley
Jul 05, 2013 | 4904 views | 5 5 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Turning up the heat
Corbin Lis waits for a pitch during batting practice with the GBS softball team in 110-degree afternoon heat Tuesday, July 2, at Veterans Park on Glenhaven Drive.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
view slideshow (12 images)
With the temperature hovering around 105 degrees on Sunday, June 30, Ken Vogel proclaimed a local heat emergency and activated the County Office of Emergency Services — the first time since 2006.

At 5:18 p.m., the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors chairman ordered the OES to immediately begin organizing 10 county cooling centers, including one in Tracy at the Larch-Clover Community Center, 11157 W. Larch Road.

Sunday was one of several days above 100 degrees since Friday, June 28, as highs topped 106 degrees on Tuesday, July 2.

Dr. Cora Hoover, assistant health officer for San Joaquin County, said young and elderly, people working in the heat and low-income families who can’t afford air-conditioning are at risk to develop heat-related illnesses.

“Our goal really is to identify who the most at-risk folks in the county are and then figure out what are the agencies and organizations that are serving those folks,” Hoover said. “The most important thing to prevent heat illness is for the person to be in an air-conditioned place during the hottest hours of the day.”

David Durand, spokesman for American Medical Response, said the company had responded to two-dozen heat-related calls between Friday and Tuesday. Durand noted that any call can turn into a heat emergency when people are out in the sun.

Barry Bartlett, an EMT-paramedic with AMR, said he responded to a motorcyclist who passed out from heat exhaustion while riding on Interstate 580 on Tuesday.

“He should have been killed instantly, should have been run over by 10 cars,” Bartlett said.

The symptoms of heat illness can be dangerous, according to Bartlett.

“Your kidneys and everything start to cook. It’s very life threatening,” he said. “At that point, we’re breaking out our bottled waters, just pouring them on the patient.”

Hoover said signs of heat illness include weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness or nausea. People should call 911 if they notice these signs in themselves or others.

“If someone is having mild symptoms like that, basically what they need to do is cool down and drink water, as long as the water isn’t making them feel more nauseated,” Hoover said. “Then ,if the person has persistent vomiting, confusion, a high body temperature or loss of consciousness, those may be signs of heat stroke.”

The doctor said electric fans aren’t good options to cool an overheated person.

“If the temperature of the air is very high, like above 98 or 100 degrees, putting an electric fan on the person isn’t really going to help,” she said. “You’re just blowing the air that’s hotter than their body temperature over them.”

• Contact Michael Langley at 830-4231 or mlangley@tracypress.com.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 11, 2013
"Those morons playing softball in this heat obviously lack common sense."... Wow!  How rude!!!

I would love to see the original posting, but it must have been taken down because of the writers poor taste.

As the mother of one of those 'morons' I know these kids and they are very athletic and have played a multitude of sports for the city of Tracy and their high schools in all types of weather!  They know their bodies and their limits and were just trying to do an activity outdoors regardless of the heat!  They had plenty of water and Gatorade and know what they can do in this heat!

Why did you feel it necessary to call these people names and put them down for what they were doing?  That old saying applies to you...if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all!

I'm proud that these kids did something active, instead sit inside playing video games!

Thank you  BackinBlack :)
July 06, 2013
"Those morons playing softball in this heat obviously lack common sense."

You're a real piece of work, so now people who are healthy and motivated enough to play ball in 100 degree heat are morons? Unbelievable.

Add me to the list of morons because I've been banging weights in a sometimes 100 degree garage or gym for 35 years, so have a lot of other people who are in good enough shape to do so.

Please take your hate & ignorance with you when you leave this town, again, knocking people for athletic activities in the heat is way over the line. Eating right, proper hydration, and being in shape enables people like me and the people playing ball to do things others cannot.

What kind of physical condition are you in? Never mind, I already know as I've seen pictures, no wonder you're jealous and hateful towards those of us in shape and able to go play in high heat.

July 05, 2013
Its nice of the city to open cooling centers for those who don't have air conditioning and who can't for whatever reason get to a mall or library or other cool place. Actually that makes me wonder how they would get to the cooling center.

That aside, the cooling centers are a nice gesture but I have to wonder why every damn annoyance nowadays is classified as an "emergency." Seriously folks, its a bit of hot weather. Hardly an "emergency", a word which conjures up images of burnt, fallen cities, smoldering ruins, numerous seriously injured or dismembered bodies, etc..

Maybe the fog of time has altered my perception of events but I don't remember it being this way when I was younger. The city/state didn't treat every minor discomfort or annoyance as an emergency. Maybe folks were just heartier or more self sufficient. I don't know. Whatever the case, we didn't have air conditioning when I was a kid and lived in a relatively hot part of CA. It wasn't an emergency. Just life. We would take a dunk in the kiddie pool to cool off, or would drench our shirts in water and wear those and/or sit in front of a fan.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.