Finding Ways to Handle the Extreme Heat

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Fans were working hard to keep churchgoers cool inside the Meade Street Baptist Church in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.

Services didn't stop for the heat, but the congregation felt the effects.

"Our numbers are down a little bit because of the heat. We have some people who are a little older who have some difficulty with this and of course, as you can tell when you sat through the service, we're not air-conditioned. We have our fans running, but that only accomplishes so much," said Pastor Chet Dudick Jr.

The high temperatures had people reaching for water during the service, but Pastor Dudick says he has a calling to continue with services as usual despite the heat.

"My deacons always tell me to take my jacket off, but I usually leave it on for the service."

Others had to answer the call of duty. First responders dealt with the heat while battling flames on Barney Street in Wilkes-Barre. It wasn't a major fire, but crews doused themselves with water to keep cool while wearing all their gear.

Towing companies say the heat is causing more engines and tires to fail than usual, forcing employees to work overtime in the hot sun.

"Laying on the ground just having your back feel like it's burning up. Customers call us saying, 'How long until you get here? It's hot.' You know, we're just doing the best we can to get to everyone in a timely manner," said Lee Falzone, Falzone Towing & Recovery.

Doctors are advising people to stay inside to avoid problems.

"Be cautious about the heat. Do your best to stay cool and stay hydrated and stay out of the sun," said Dr. Todd Holmes, Geisinger Emergency Medicine.

The emergency department at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre is now open. Doctors there tell Newswatch 16 they are ready to assist anyone that may be facing a medical emergency because of this heat.

"When you really start to feel ill, and that is opposed to having heat exhaustion, which is just where you feel weak and overheated and thirsty," added Dr. Holmes.

People we spoke with around Wilkes-Barre say they are taking steps to avoid a trip to the ER.

"We're going to go to the mall because it's cold in there and then go home and maybe go to the pool because it's cold in the pool," said Angela Tamalatzi of White Haven.

"The heat, it's something you've got to deal with and can't wait for the colder weather to come and cool it down a little bit," said Falzone.

Doctors at Geisinger say if you don't have to be outside, it's best to avoid the outdoors and stay somewhere cool.

If you are outside and experience signs of a heat stroke, like nausea, vomiting, or if you stop sweating and get goosebumps, that's the time to call 911.

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