EMS sees large increase in heat-related emergency calls

CHARLESTON, SC - With the extreme temperatures in the Lowcountry, Emergency Medical Services are getting more heat-related emergency calls than ever before.

"We usually get around two to three calls per week, but on Monday alone we had 11. It wasn't even this bad last year," said Don Lundy, director of Charleston County EMS.

Charleston County EMS has 15 emergency vehicles on the road 24 hours a day and bring in two more vehicles during peak times.

"We've had enough vehicles to meet the demand of calls, but we're on stand by in case we need to bring in more," said Lundy.

Not only is the heat keeping paramedics busy, it's also making things more dangerous.

"After a 24 hour shift, we're mentally and physically exhausted," said Matthew Adams, an EMT.

While responding to emergencies on interstates and near fires, paramedics can get over-heated. That's why their partners are keeping an extra eye out for them.

"We encourage them to keep water on them at all times and sit in air conditioning as much as possible," said Lundy.

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