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Tulsa emergency officials warn of dangerous heat

cyclist cooling off during extreme heat wave
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 19:07:28-04

TULSA, Okla. — Emergency leaders are on high alert in Tulsa as we deal with a week of dangerous heat.

The Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency opened a fourth cooling station at the fairgrounds to help people in need.

Cooling Stations:

- John 3:16 Mission (506 North Cheyenne Avenue) (open 24/7)

-Salvation Army Center of Hope (102 North Denver Avenue) (open 24/7)

-Tulsa County Social Services (2401 Charles Page Boulevard) (open 8am-8pm)

-Fair Meadows Building at Expo Square (4609 East 41st Street) (open 10am-8pm)

TAEMA Executive Director, Joe Kralicek, says you should drink water, stay in air conditioned buildings, limit outdoor activities especially during the peak heat of the day, and don’t leave children or pets in the car.

“Heat is the number one weather related cause of death in the United States,” said Joe Kralicek.

EMSA medics have also been busy in the brutal heat.

So far this year, EMSA has responded to 246 heat related emergency calls. Medics have taken 140 patients to the hospital.

The agency says that’s because of the brutal heat wave.

“Anytime that we have this kind of unrelenting heat without any breaks, that’s when we really start to see those heat call numbers jump up,” said Adam Paluka with EMSA.

Outreach teams from housing solutions are providing rides to cooling stations for homeless men and women along with additional supplies.

“Water, hats, cooling towels, hydration packets. All outreach across the city is working very hard to make sure folks have what they need in this hot weather,” said Josh Sanders with Housing Solutions.

For Tulsans, they’re finding ways to beat the heat.

James and his dad Jeff Skocdopole cooled off in the fountains at River Parks at 41st and Riverside.

James says he normally wouldn’t get in the water, but it was too hot to stay away.

“He can probably go longer than me but I get out here and I get a little….I need to stop. It’s hot,” said Jeff Skocdopole.

For cyclist Michael Loman, he comes to the park nearly every day for a 25 mile ride.

“I don’t even look at the temperature. If I knew how hot it was I probably wouldn’t get out and do anything,” said Michael Loman.

Loman says he brings two full bottles of water during his ride. He drinks one before the ride and the other when he’s finished.

He also tries to take it easy on the trail.

“I like going fast, but I’m not going too fast to where I’m just going to pass out on the road,” said Michael Loman.

The Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency says they added the new cooling station after seeing a 15-20% spike in daily usage at the other locations.

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