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Monday, August 15, 2022
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Officers Suffer Heat Exhaustion After Altercation


Man preventing heat exhaustion with an ice pack. | Image by Liudmila Chernetska, Getty Images

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Two Dallas Police Department officers were treated for heat exhaustion last week as the area temperature continued to hover in triple digits, a sign that this summer’s hot spell impacts everyone.

Paramedics responded to an incident on Fairmont Street after Dallas PD officers were called to an allegedly unruly and non-compliant person. The exertion of interacting with the suspect caused the officers to suffer heat exhaustion, according to a statement by the Dallas Police Department.

Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics responded to a call for emergency medical support after other police officers arrived to provide backup. It is unclear what prompted the suspect to allegedly resist arrest aggressively. Once backup arrived, the suspect was taken into custody.

One of the affected police officers returned to his duties right away. Paramedics applied cooling techniques and rapid hydration, which had an immediate positive effect. The result was not the same for his partner, who was transported to a nearby medical center for urgent care and observation. When patients experiencing heat exhaustion do not respond positively to emergency treatment after 30 minutes, the risk of heat stroke increases significantly.

Weather reports from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area indicate that temperatures reached or surpassed the 100-degree mark several days last week. The relative humidity has hovered around 47%, and the wind has barely moved over four miles per hour.

Heat advisory warnings have been posted on several occasions. For anyone working outdoors, these weather conditions are highly conducive to heat exhaustion, particularly when strenuous physical activity is involved.

Helping to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke is a current priority of the Dallas Police Department. This goes beyond caring for officers who are patrolling the streets and responding to emergencies. The Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) division of the Dallas PD was recently featured in a segment broadcast by Channel 8 News, the local ABC affiliate. In the report, Sgt. Mavin Tyler explained how NPOs actively check on the community’s most vulnerable members who could be affected by high temperatures.

When Dallas NPOs patrol neighborhoods, they remind residents about the importance of staying in the shade, drinking water, and seeking cooling sources. These officers pay special attention to elderly residents who live alone or in low-income situations.

A couple of weeks ago, NPOs in the South Central sectors of Dallas learned about two elderly residents whose air conditioning units were no longer functioning. With the help of community leaders and charitable organizations, the officers could acquire and install two brand new AC units for these residents in need.

Local business owners donate some of the window-mounted AC units provided by the NPOs. However, many others are acquired through monetary donations. In some cases, the police officers pitch in to collect enough funds for this purpose.

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