First responders busy at the New Jersey shore during heat wave

Trish Hartman Image
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
First responders busy at the Jersey shore during heat wave
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Firefighters in Wildwood are extra busy, even bringing people back on duty after their shift is over to handle all the calls.

NORTH WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- If you're looking to cool off this week, the Jersey shore will be a popular spot.

But officials say even at the beach the heat can be hard to handle, especially if precautions aren't taken.

For families on vacation at the shore, they picked a scorcher of a week.

"We made a sandcastle but then we changed it into a water park," said 9-year-old Andrew Gumeny of Nutley, N.J.

His dad found shelter from the sun in a beach tent as they enjoyed their vacation in North Wildwood.

"Going down to the beach as much as we can, get in the water, and we've been trying to find some shady spots, mini-golf, stuff like that," said Bryan Gumeny.

Many people were grateful to be away from the city, catching a nice breeze near the ocean.

"I think there's a nice breeze, I don't think it's too hot. Definitely better than Philadelphia," said Nicole Sullick of Northeast Philadelphia, enjoying the beach with her 17-day-old daughter, Kinsley.

Boardwalk eateries like Little Nicky's Pizza know to prepare for crowds who often stop in for cold drinks on their way to the beach.

"We stock up on pizza, the dough, boxes, water - especially water. It flies out," said co-owner Elaina Pagan.

Firefighters in Wildwood are extra busy, even bringing people back on duty after their shift is over to handle all the calls.

Deputy Chief Daniel Dunn says on Tuesday during the day shift they received twice as many calls compared to a typical summer day.

"Usually dehydration, and a lot of syncopal episodes, or fainting episodes. That's where people are out in the heat and humidity for a duration of time. And they're not hydrating properly," said Dunn, adding that some people drink more alcohol than water, which can have dangerous consequences in the heat.

"The beach is the best place to be because it's cooler right along the beach, but you still also have that sun beating down on you all day so if you're not hydrating properly and making sure you're staying cool it can certainly have an effect on you."

In addition to drinking water and taking breaks, they say keep an eye on your friends and family.

"Sweating profusely, any of those signs, looking pale in color or even flush in color, then you should really attend to them and say - drink some water," said Dunn.

In New Jersey, you can call 2-1-1 to find resources for help dealing with the heat.