WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Calls Don't Stop For DCFD On High Heat Days

Play associated audio
D.C. firefighters say call volume increases during heat waves.
Armando Trull
D.C. firefighters say call volume increases during heat waves.

Riding along with D.C. Fire and EMS on a day where temperatures neared 100 degrees was certainly not dull. As we headed off to a call yesterday for a person suffering from asthma at a nearby senior center, D.C.F.D. Captain Richard Zegowitz explains the kind of calls they've been responding to.

"On a busy day like this we'll get a run every 15 to 20 minutes," Zegowitz says. "Sometimes during the middle of the day, it puts a real strain on the units."

This particularly applies to the ambulances, which can be tied up for hours transporting patients to the hospital and getting them admitted, says Zegowitz.

"We just got back from Georgetown hospital and all the beds were full," he says.

Next, we're speeding with a battalion chief to a water rescue, it's a kayaker in the Potomac. A dozen units, including a helicopter, converge on the Georgetown waterfront for what turns out to be a kayaker taking a dip in the water to escape the heat.

The firefighters aren't just responding to people either. Commercial air conditioners and other industrial machinery tend to overheat, and those calls are keeping firefighters busy. Zegowitz says it all takes a physical toll.

"We have all the gear that we have to wear, and with the heat and everything it's like being inside an oven," he says.

But the men and women of the D.C.F.D. say they'll go into those ovens willingly if it means saving someone's life.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
NPR

Me-Tea-Morphosis: Tea Bags Get Second Life As Works Of Art

Artists are reinventing the humble tea bag, letting its contents and simple shape and color shine in beautiful, fragile art. Some are even farming out the tea drinking to get to the used bags.
NPR

After Hope For Early Release, Prisoners' Applications Stuck In Limbo

The Obama administration offered help to nonviolent offenders like Dana Bowerman, but more than half the applications sent to the Clemency Project 2014 have not been processed.
NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.