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.