Newport News Fire Department medic shares tips on how to avoid heat-related injuries

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - that's what Capt. William Ortham says
Heat dangers WX graphic
Posted at 4:24 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 17:30:09-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – As we’re projected to break records Friday, topping the upper 90s for much of our viewing area, News 3 has some tips on how to avoid a heat-related injury.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - that’s what a medic with the Newport News Fire Department says.

Fire officials also discussed signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke.

“You start getting goosebumps, locking up, and it’s incredibly painful,” said Scott Evans.

Evans, a roofer, has had heat-related injuries several times.

“I woke up at the hospital. It was terrible – [I] never felt pain like that. I felt like I got run over,” he said.

Capt. William Ortham explains what you need to look out for.

“If you’re starting to feel nauseous, weak, maybe start to vomit, start having cramps, these are all signs of heat exhaustion,” Capt. Ortham said.

When you stop sweating, that’s when heat exhaustion has progressed to heat stroke.

“You’ll also become more confused - you may not know who you are, where you are, what you’re doing. These are the signs and symptoms that if people around you see, they need to take immediate action,” he explained.

Evans says he now adjusts his day to not be out when the sun is at it hottest.

“I get up early and get done early. When it gets hot, I don’t work past noon - simple as that. If you’re not out in it, it can’t hurt you,” Evans said.

Capt. Ortham says people with heart problems, asthma and emphysema are more likely to have heat-related injuries.

He says above all, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, get to a cool place and take a break.

Related: Heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke – the difference medical professionals want you to know