Emergency responders plan for heat, bigger fireworks crowd

Indianapolis

The Fourth of July fireworks show in downtown Indianapolis is a hot attraction every year, but this year's intense heat has emergency responders thinking about how to keep people cool and safe.

"There's going to be a lot of people downtown. It's going to be very hot. People will be downtown for an extended period of time," said Dr. Dan O'Donnell, Deputy Medical Director of Indy EMS.

He helped plan this year's emergency response for the event, which is expected to bring in a larger crowd than usual, after several area firework shows were cancelled due to the dry weather.

This year's emergency preparedness plan includes several ambulances, roving EMS carts, and more than 30 EMTs, some riding bikes along the canal.

"They're just going to really be on the lookout for any heat-related illnesses," he said, "people that just need to get out of the heat to suffering some severe medical emergency from the heat itself."

For anyone planning on enjoying the sun before the event, Dr. O'Donnell advised to get some shade and plenty of fluids.

"Be sure to drink plenty of water. Even if you think you're not thirsty, just drink more than you think you even need."

The Indianapolis Fire Department will also have lots of hands on-site, including on top of the Regions Bank Building, where the fireworks are set to go off.

Firefighters will also be placed on top of neighboring high rise buildings to serve as spotters for any stray embers that might pose a fire threat.

Dr. O'Donnell compared the event to the Indy 500 parade and said public safety officials are ready for anything.

"We prepare for this everyday," he said. "To have this many people downtown, we'll be ready for it."

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