Boston EMS responding to increase in call volume during heat emergency

BOSTON — Boston first responders have been inundated with an increase in calls during the heat emergency that’s expected to last for nearly a week.

The heat emergency that was declared on Tuesday was scheduled to expire on Thursday, but Mayor Wu has extended it through Sunday.

According to Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley, call volume typically increases in the city by about 14 percent when the temperature soars above 90 degrees.

He believes the excessive heat is undoubtedly a contributing factor in the noticeable uptick in recent days.

“When you have several days in a row it really does become difficult,” explained Chief Hooley. “We’re concerned about the cumulative effects on people, including people who are relatively healthy.”

Boston EMS responded to 385 clinical incidents on Tuesday and 440 clinical incidents on Wednesday.

There were more than 500 ambulance responses on each day.

“We’re concerned about the effect on our work staff,” said Hooley. “We have been attempting to staff extra ambulances, and we’ve had some luck doing that.”

Hooley encourages people to drink plenty of water over the next few days and to limit outdoor activities, especially from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During the extension of the heat emergency, 12 Boston Centers for Youth & Families community cooling centers will remain open through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A full list of those cooling centers are listed on the city’s website: boston.gov/heat

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