‘Getting harder and hotter’: Phoenix fire crews race to save lives in America’s hottest city

  • Source: The Guardian
  • Published: 08/11/2022 12:00 AM

PHOTOS: The 911 call came in about an elderly man who had fallen outside a storage facility in central Phoenix. The fire crew, who are also paramedics, found 80-year-old Noel laid on his back on the concrete ramp under direct sunlight; he was weak, thirsty and very hot. Noel, an Englishman with diabetes and hypertension, had been moving furniture when his legs gave way. His core temperature was 104F – dangerously hot. (The typical range for a healthy older adult is 97 to 99F.) His blood pressure was also very high at 242/110, and his pulse was racing. Noel had been lying on the piercing hot concrete ramp for about 45 minutes. A firefighter wrapped an ice cold towel around his neck and inserted IV lines into both arms. It was 3.30pm and the outside temperature hovered above 100F – below the average for the time of year in Phoenix, but several degrees hotter than the previous week when monsoon rains cooled the city.


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