TOPEKA (KSNT) – AMR workers respond to an increased number of heat emergencies during summer months, but they can’t keep others safe unless they’re keeping themselves safe too.

Whether it’s taking a personal water jug or snagging extra water bottles on their way out the door, AMR responders told 27 News they always have water on hand to stay hydrated. They typically spend all 12 hours of their shifts posted in emergency vehicles around Topeka, so being well-equipped is key.

“You’re not, you know, sitting at a station like a lot of agencies get to do sometimes,” paramedic Briana Drinkwater said. “So, it’s just making sure you’re keeping up with yourself, taking those opportunities when you can at the hospital or when you’re posted to stop and grab a drink at a restaurant or a grocery store.” 

Crews try to park in the shade as much as possible, as day-time workers are out and about during peak sun hours. While they wait for calls to come in, responders keep the vehicle’s air conditioner running and monitor their own needs.

“It’s impossible for us to be out and helping other if we’re not taking care of ourselves,” EMT Morgan Kice said. “So, we definitely make sure that we’re keeping an eye on our partners and even if we see other crews at the hospital. Or, if we’re on call with Fire because they wear heavy pants, or if they’re on a fire, keeping tracking of them and making sure they’re doing good for themselves.” 

With extremely warm weather expected this week, AMR responders remind the public to stay hydrated, be conscious of time spent outdoors in the heat and keep cool when possible.