Hot weather in Edmonton prompts emergency calls

Hot weather in Edmonton prompts emergency calls

With temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, Edmontonians are being urged to take precautions and monitor those who are vulnerable.

According to Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, since July 1, 21 incidents involving pets trapped in vehicles and four incidents involving children or adults have been responded to.

According to EFRS, the emergency service received 32 reports of pets in vehicles and 31 incidents involving people throughout July 2023.

“Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will only break windows to gain access to vehicles if there are immediate signs of distress or danger,” an EFRS spokesperson told CTV News Edmonton in an email Tuesday. “If this is not the case, we will radio our dispatch center to request AMA assistance, and our partners will arrive on scene and open the vehicle for us.”

According to Alberta Health Services, emergency services responded to 16 heat-related emergencies between July 3 and Tuesday.

“Most of the calls involved sun exposure while working outdoors or exercising,” said spokesperson Kerry Williamson.

The Edmonton chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association, which is handling 211 calls, reports that calls have increased by 40 per cent since early July compared to last year.

“Yesterday saw the biggest spike with a 50 percent increase, 124 calls. This compares to our 2023 daily average of 77 calls per day,” spokeswoman Emma Potter said on Tuesday.

“We expect volumes to remain high over the coming week as temperatures continue to rise.”

Potter noted that the number of calls is still down from the winter months, when a record 344 calls were received in a single day.

If you see someone in distress due to the heat, call 911.

Temperatures between 30 and 20 degrees are expected in the coming week.

AHS provides online information on how to protect yourself from heat and sun.

For more information on what to do if you see a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, visit the Edmonton Police Service website.