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Heat service calls exceed June average as temperatures soar

Angus Crisp finds some shade on Monday, June 24, 2024, at Veterans Park in Tulsa.
Max Bryan
Angus Crisp finds some shade on Monday, June 24, 2024, at Veterans Park in Tulsa.

Heat-related calls for service and high temperatures are already above where they usually are this time of year, and officials say Tulsans need to take care of themselves.

EMSA spokesperson Kimberly Querry says the ambulance service has already responded to 46 heat-related calls in the Tulsa area so far this year. They've taken 35 people from these calls to the hospital.

Querry says this is above average for June.

"We’re not even in July yet, and that’s usually when we start seeing a lot of heat-related calls, is July, August, September. Especially when you have the fair coming around, you have baseball games, you have people going outside for Fourth of July," said Querry.

These numbers come as Tulsa has three daily highs forecast at 100 this week as of Monday.

Querry said temperatures made a sudden jump this year, which didn’t give Tulsans time to adjust.

“We always are very concerned about early-season heat," said Tulsa Area Emergency Management Director Joe Kralicek.

Kralicek says his office is currently "trying to tell people that heat is nothing to mess around with." TAEMA is also working with area homeless shelters to get water to unhoused people and let them know they can use their facilities to escape the heat.

City officials say these locations are open to anyone needing relief from the heat:

  • John 3:16 Mission, 506 N. Cheyenne Ave., Open 24/7
  • Salvation Army, 102 N. Denver Ave., Open 24/7
  • Tulsa Day Center, 415 West Archer St., Open 24/7
  • Tulsa County Social Services, 2401 Charles Page Blvd., 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

To prevent emergencies, Querry says to drink water and electrolytes before and after going outside. She also says to wear loose, light-colored clothes, and have either a buddy or a cellphone for exercise outdoors.

"Preferably, have a buddy. Because a lot of the symptoms of heat stroke, you may not see on yourself, but someone else will recognize — like slurred speech, confusion and even loss of consciousness," she said.

Max Bryan is a news anchor and reporter for KWGS. A Tulsa native, Bryan worked at newspapers throughout Arkansas and in Norman before coming home to "the most underrated city in America." Several of Bryan's news stories have either led to or been cited in changes both in the public and private sectors.