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Heatstroke Hero?


It's been REALLY hot for the last few days. The late May heat wave brought temperatures in the 30s, with Humidex values in the 40s. Toss in some nasty, thick smog and very little in the way of a breeze, and it's really uncomfortable and potentially a recipe for disaster.

On a leisurely walk in Queen West yesterday I happened across this both frightening yet encouraging scene. A pedestrian was crouching down and calmly tending to a fellow Torontonian who was lying lifelessly on the pavement, apparently succumbed to the heat. When I arrived, he had already brought bottled water, tried to rouse her, and checked her breathing and pulse. When she remained unresponsive, he called paramedics and they quickly arrived to take over. They were able to rouse her and almost immediately after her eyes opened and she struggled to sit up, our hero (who has requested to remain anonymous) quickly, casually, and quietly left the scene.

I was able to catch up with him to commend him for his kindness and vigilance before he very humbly continued on his way.

The heat has subsided for now, but the summer is fast approaching and before long we'll be facing extreme conditions again. Please be alert, be smart, and be prepared to deal with heatstroke. Toronto's homeless, the elderly, and children are particularly susceptible.

If you see anyone that looks like they're in danger, please lend a hand - you might save a life.

Remove as much of the person's clothing as possible, fan them and spray or dab cool water on them, and if possible, try to provide them with cool, slightly salted water. Keeping well-hydrated, wearing light and lightly coloured clothing, shielding yourself from the sun, and taking breaks from the extreme heat are all important for prevention.


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