As EMS workers help residents battle the summer heat, they now have new tool at their disposal.
Six cooling vests recently purchased by the county.
The vests contain a cooler with a small motor.
The cooler holds a mixture of ice and water.
Hoses pump the ice cold water through the vest at 59 degrees so that a person’s core body temperature cools without that person having to ingest any liquids.
This is an effective way to lower body temperature that has been around for a while according to Fairfield County EMS Assistant Deputy Director T.C. Collier, but as of June, Fairfield County has the vests at its disposal.
EMS wasted no time in putting the equipment into the field, having the vests on the trucks within a week of the vests’ arrival at the facility.
In addition to those six vests, there is another cooling vest on the first response truck. That truck also contains a mattress pad that a patient can be wrapped in and cooled at a 32 degrees.
This intense intervention is used in cases of heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion is a more serious condition where a patient stops sweating and needs rapid cooling.
Once the heat exhaustion has been treated, the patient uses the vest as a second stage to treating heat-related issues.
The cooling blanket also is used with EMS hypothermia protocol for heart attack patients.
By cooling the body temperature of a heart attack patient, the goal is to minimize inflammation and bacterial inflammation that can increase the severity or complications of a heart attack.
The EMS workers are thankful to have these tools and protocols to help keep Fairfield County residents safe, said Collier.