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Emergency crews are gearing up for a very hot weekend

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Central Valley is set for another wave of triple digit heat and emergency crews are gearing up for the worst. "During this time of year, our call volume goes up. We see a lot of heat-related call," said Mike Davis with American Ambulance.

Paramedics with the agency will have extra staff on hand this weekend to deal with the high number of heat-related calls expected -- something they've already experienced this summer.

From June 17th to July 15th -- dispatch received more than 100 calls from people with heat-related concerns. The majority of those calls came in during the peak heat hours, from Noon until 6pm. "Heat exhaustion kind of sneaks up on you. It's kind of a progressive thing and if left untreated, it could result in a heat stroke," said Davis.

Emergency personnel advise staying out of the heat if possible and limiting outdoor activity. And paramedics aren't the only ones stepping up staffing. "We're always monitoring the weather and we increase our staffing levels and make sure we're staffed appropriately based on what the weather conditions will be," said Jeff Smith, spokesman for PG&E.

PG&E expects to see an increased risk of power outages as people consume more energy to stay cool -- but that could drain the state energy grid. To prevent a massive blackout, more PG&E workers will be inside the operation center in downtown Fresno.

"So what they're able to do in that operation center is to look for other areas where they can maybe reroute the power through other circuits and get any customers that may be experiencing an outage, have their power restored as quickly as possible," said Smith.

But these are just precautionary measures. Officials with PG&E said they currently have sufficient supply to meet the increased power demand.

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heat wave, local, carlos saucedo
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