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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor Outlines City’s Efforts to Help Residents Weather Heat Wave

Wednesday August 8, 2007

Residents Responding to Help Those in Need

With the heat index expected to reach about 110 degrees today, Mayor Jerry Abramson thanked residents for reaching out to help neighbors during this hot weather.

“Our employees, our non-profit groups and our residents have really pulled together to help this community weather this heat wave,” Abramson said. “Residents have donated air conditioners, checked on neighbors and utilized our government buildings to help keep each other safe.”

Fans & Air Conditioners
Larry Johnston, a former GE executive, donated $10,000 through his foundation to Elderserve that will be used to purchase air conditioners for residents in need who are over the age of 60. Elderserve is working with the city’s Community Action Partnership to identify senior citizens who need air conditioners. Meanwhile the city is setting aside an additional $10,000 to purchase about 100 air conditioners that will be distributed through CAP to residents with medical conditions or disabilities. People on the waiting list will receive air conditioners first. GE has agreed to match all purchases of air conditioners up to $20,000, giving the community an additional 400 air conditioners.

Community members have donated 20 air conditioners since the mercury started to rise on Monday. CAP has distributed 89 fans and 60 air conditioners.

For more information about receiving assistance or donating a fan or air conditioner, call 574-1157, ext. 340. CAP has extended the hours at its headquarters until 7 p.m. to help residents who need assistance. The address is 1200 South Third Street.

The Department of Housing and Family Services also has emergency funds available to help residents with medical conditions repair central heat and air-conditioning units. For more information, call 574-3107.

EMS Response
Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services personnel have been dispatched to 31 cases of heat exposure. The previous week, paramedics and emergency medical technicians only transported five residents with similar symptoms. “Symptoms of heat illness tend to mimic the flu,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, director and CEO of Louisville Metro EMS. “Residents, especially those with heart conditions or breathing illnesses, should limit outdoor activity, take plenty of breaks and make sure they drink lots of water.”

Symptoms of heat exposure include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Heat Tips
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness advises residents to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Tips for staying cool include:

  • Keep shades drawn and windows slightly open for ventilation
  • Take cool showers
  • Use cool towels and washcloths for relief
  • Avoid using oven
  • Turn off lights
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol and soda
  • Drink water and natural juices
  • Wear loose, cotton clothing

Checking Welfare of Residents
Neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Block Watch groups, and members of the city’s Citizen Observer Alert network have all been asked to check on elderly friends and neighbors during this late-summer heat wave.

Meals on Wheels drivers are also monitoring the health of senior citizens and the disabled when they deliver food to homes. Elderserve is calling its clients daily to monitor their well-being.

Community Centers
More people are taking advantage of air conditioning available at the city’s 17 community centers. Hours have been extended at six sites. The Baxter, Dumeyer and Parkhill community centers will be open each day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Those centers will also be open this weekend from noon to 6 p.m. The Douglass Community Center is

open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Portland and Beechmont community centers will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open as cooling centers on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Water will be available for residents.

For a complete list of community centers, call MetroCall 311 or visit

Senior Nutrition Sites
Residents may enjoy social activities and interaction with peers while having some relief from the heat at the city’s 24 senior nutrition sites. Lunches are free; donations are appreciated. For a complete list of locations and hours, please call 574-6325 or MetroCall 311. The locations are also available on the city’s website,

Residents may also cool off by visiting one of the city’s 17 public library branches. Branches are generally open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and have weekend hours.

For a complete list of hours and locations, call MetroCall 311 or visit

Metro Parks personnel report pool usage is down this week, as more residents are opting to stay indoors. Four outdoor pools will be open until Saturday, August 11.

Breslin Park pool will remain open through Labor Day. Mary T. Meagher indoor pool is open throughout the year. For a complete list of pools and hours of operation, call MetroCall 311 or visit