TALSA, Oklahoma. Extreme temperatures can pose a serious health hazard to anyone who spends long hours in the heat.
Some of these people are first responders, police officers, and sheriff’s deputies.
Kimber Take worked as a deputy in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office for almost 15 years. Her shift starts at 8 am. She spends most of the day on the road and in the heat.
“We patrol the streets and stop traffic violations, and also just keep track of anything suspicious or abnormal that happens,” Take said.
She said that some days are longer than others.
“Every time you get a call that will take some time, like any type of death investigation or any other type of crime scene call, you will be out for a while, whether it’s hot or cold. “Take said.
She said that it is especially crowded in summer.
“In the summer, we get a lot of heat-related phone calls,” Take said.
In Tulsa, EMSA responded to 111 heatwave calls in July as triple-digit temperatures created dangerous conditions for Oklahoma residents. First responders such as Deputy Take, EMSA and the police must go out into the same dangerous environment to help them.
“It’s not an easy job, but you add extreme temperatures to it and it gets a little more difficult,” Take said.
Take does it all while wearing an extra 30 pounds of gear, including a bulletproof vest and belt.
“Especially if you’re hot and sweaty, it definitely feels like a big deal,” Take said.
MPs spend most of the day on patrol. Take’s deputy said she gets in and out of the car up to 40 times in an eight-hour shift. She said the heat could quickly creep up on her.
“Personally, I like to take a gallon or more of water with me every day when I’m just moving around or whatever is easiest for me to drink, and I also take electrolytes with me because if I get out of the car and I’m sweating all day, I want to replace it all,” Take said.
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