AUSTIN (KXAN) — Between calling 911 and the arrival of first responders, those on the scene during a medical emergency may be able to provide immediate first aid that could save a life.

With temperatures climbing to record highs, heat-related illnesses are more prevalent and can kill. Austin-Travis County EMS’ advice: “Move Them, Cool Them, Call 911”. In June, ATCEMS responded to 95 heat-related calls.

Heat exhaustion can be recognized when a person shows heavy sweating, weakness, a fast but weak pulse, and nausea or vomiting. Their skin will likely also be cold, pale and clammy. Finally, urine that is dark in color or if they lack the need to urinate at least once every 3-4 hours, may also be symptoms.

ATCEMS recommends the following for heat exhaustion:

  • Move the person to a cooler environment
  • Have the person lie down and loosen their clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths or compresses to as much of their body as possible
  • Give them sips of water

If someone suffering from heat exhaustion continues to vomit, then ATCEMS says it’s time to call 911 immediately.

In cases of heat stroke, a person’s body temperature exceeds 103 degrees, their skin will feel hot to the touch and their pulse should feel rapid and strong. The patient may be unconscious as well.

After calling 911, ATCEMS recommends the following:

  • Move the person to a cooler environment
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or a cold bath
  • Do not give the person fluids by mouth

Prevention is key to avoiding a heat-related illness. ATCEMS recommends drinking plenty of water, dressing for the heat and limiting time in the sun.

Here are some more tips:

  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which will dehydrate you
  • If exercising, take plenty of breaks and cool down in shade or in an air-conditioned building
  • Pay attention to children, pets and the elderly for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

ATCEMS also says not to ignore mild heat issues, since they can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

For those who don’t have a place to cool off, Austin has several cooling centers.