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Need a break from extreme heat? Richmond will open cooling shelters

Posted at 8:10 AM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 08:12:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The heat index is expected to reach triple digits, so the City of Richmond will open two cooling station Tuesday and Wednesday for people to take a break from the heat.

The cooling shelters will be open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at :

Southside Community Services Center, 4100 Hull St. Road

Department of Social Services, 900 East Marshall Street

Bottled water will be available at the shelter, but you must bring your own food.

Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed.

The shelters open when the temperature or heat index goes above 95 degrees.

Health experts are taking this time to remind residents to stay safe out in this dangerous heat.

EMS officials said if you're outside, wear light clothing, a hat, and sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Most importantly, stay hydrated and take breaks from the heat.

"Limit your exposure to the elements. Work in short bits, whether it's 30 minutes and then get into a short area and take a break and then go back to work. But you don't want to stay out for eight hours a day without drinking and hydrating yourself working in heat like this," Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said.

This heat can be especially brutal for first responders. In Chesterfield's Station 21, firefighters use the Medical Services Unit (MSU) on hot days. The air-conditioned bus allows firefighters to take a break, hydrate, and cool off.

Lt. Elmore said the MSU can be lifesaving.

"Their body temperature rises quickly when they're fighting their fire and for them to have a spot to come out instead of just in the front yard where it's 110 degrees outside. It helps them continue to work throughout the incident."

Get more details about the cooling shelters here.