Handling the heat

July 19, 2008 8:40:55 PM PDT
From splashing in the water to lounging in the air conditioning, everyone seemed to have the same goal today - staying cool. In Fairmount Park today the city pool supervisor spelled out the rules as they opened for business on this inferno like day. Children of North Philadelphia then start to enjoy the facility under the watchful eye of lifeguards. These are the summer days that provide many a fond childhood memory.

For some middle age tennis devotees, this kind of summer day is a God send. They love the game, and the heat is no obstacle whatsoever. In fact they claim the weather today is ideal.

But as much fun as some can have in a heat wave like this. It can be a deadly threat for so many at risk... especially the elderly.

The Philadelphia Senior Center is having to replace its 17-year-old air conditioning system right now in the midst of this heat wave. The center is a lifeline for seniors at risk who come here every day to stay cool.

Back in June, 19 Philadelphians died as a result of the first heat wave. The reasons why are familiar ones.

Dr. James Dean from the Philadelphia Department of Health tells us, "When the scene was investigated, windows were closed. A fan may have been on with windows closed. It was an elderly person who neighbors haven't seen in a couple days and nobody went to check on. So, some of the points that seem to be redundant... are important to get out there."

So as local folks keep coping, the city has its heat hot line up and ready at 8:30 every morning, with nurses at the phone banks for advice and a mobile unit that can be dispatched when needed.

The heat hot line number is (215) 765-9040.