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Tornado Victims Coping with Extreme Heat During Clean-up

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Wheeling a cooler full of cold drinks and pop cycles, EMT’s with American Medical Response cruise the streets hard hit by last week’s tornado offering a little bit of relief from the intense heat.

“You guys keeping cool, taking breaks?” asked AMR workers.

It’s a welcome visit for people who’ve been clearing the debris for days and now are dealing with the heat too.

Street after street the AMR team drives and walks through the wreckage reminding people to be safe.

“You really need a lot of fluid intake and especially now some of these people don’t have electricity so there’s no AC or fans so they have to keep the water inside them,” said AMR General Manager David Pellitier.

These guys were dripping sweat when AMR got there, the heat sneaking up on them.

“Just now walking inside starting to feel a little dizzy,” explained Stuart Andrews. He found quick relief with a nearby hose over his head. “That makes me feel 100% better,” added Andrews.

“It’s actually a real big help because things get going on and on and you don’t realize how long you’ve been out there and you see these guys and it’s oh, break time,” said Mike Kosior.

One tip is to take frequent breaks in the shade. One big problem, there isn’t much shade out here anymore since the twister knocked down most of the trees.

So people out here working in the heat have to get creative to find shade. Some workers going under a huge machine. “It’s hard to find shade. There is none. This is as good as it gets, this is what we revert to,” explained one worker.

“The important thing people need to know in Springfield you can drink the tap water. The city water is fine and good. Drink plenty of it,” said Pellitier.

Of course he says stay away from soda, caffeine and alcohol. And if you get too warm or tired call it quits and remember, unfortunately, the debris will still be there when you’re feeling better.

And always remember never leave a child or pet in a hot car, even with the windows cracked.

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