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High temps keep Price Hill fire station 24 busy this week

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 20:07:48-04

CINCINNATI — The calls kept coming Wednesday for Cincinnati firefighters and paramedics operating out of station 24 in Price Hill.

The current heat wave has made the station, already one of Cincinnati's busiest firehouses, even more active in recent days.

"Anytime it's hot and humid, we see an uptick in calls for trouble breathing," said Ryan Schwitalski, a Cincinnati firefighter. "You know, it exacerbates a lot of the medical conditions that people have. Asthma, COPD, CHF, any kind of respiratory disease."

That was the case with one call Schwitalski and crew responded to earlier in the day.

"It felt like, looked like, they didn't have any air conditioning in the house," Schwitalski said. "Everybody's sweating in the house. Kid was having trouble breathing."

Without the reprieve of air conditioning, the heat takes its toll on people, even those without underlying health conditions, according to Lt. Nick Lenhardt with Cincinnati Fire Department's truck 24.

"Once it starts getting in the 90- to 100-degree day, you gotta drink more," Lenhardt said. "You know, they don't realize how much they really are sweating."

He added that the heat could sneak up on anybody, not just the elderly, with symptoms like nausea, lightheadedness, heavy sweating, or cool and clammy skin.

"When we intervene, it's oxygen, ice packs, cool them off, try to get them cool wet towels," Lenhardt said.

To avoid a visit from a firefighter or paramedic, Lenhardt said he tells people not to wait to stay hydrated but to start before it gets hot.

"You can't make up for it in a few hours," he said. "It's gotta be yesterday, the day before. You gotta keep hydration and fluids and eating."