Enquirer Herald

York sheriff's office helps residents beat the heat

The York County Sheriff's Office is helping some residents beat the heat with its Operation Cool Breeze.

The office has between 60 and 70 box fans available to the elderly and ill, as well as individuals who either have insufficient air conditioning or none at all.

"The elderly, young and ill are most susceptive to heat-related injuries," said Sheriff's Lt. Mike Baker. "We have to make sure the need is genuine."

Sheriff Bruce Bryant, concerned with the effects heat can have on people, began the initiative three years ago.

Throughout the summer, Baker said deputies often see firsthand these effects.

With summertime temperatures in the 90s and above, heat stroke causes the body's temperature to reach abnormally high levels. It can be fatal if not treated properly and immediately.

Symptoms of heat stroke include a rapid pulse, difficulty breathing and the absence of sweating with hot, red or flushed skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This year, between 60 and 70 fans were donated to the York County Sheriff's Office for Operation Cool Breeze.

Deputies keep at least one fan in every car, Baker said. If a deputy goes on a call and sees a genuine need for the fan, they will provide the resident with it, at no cost.

Baker said this year they have yet to give away any fans, but in the past, residents have been receptive and appreciative.

The National Weather Service in Greenville and Spartanburg has issued a heat advisory for today from noon to 8 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper 90s, with heat index values nearing 105 this afternoon.

Residents are encouraged to reduce their time outside and reschedule activities for the early morning or evening.

They should also take frequent rest breaks and stay hydrated.

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