Cooling Stations Open Across Tulsa As More Extreme Heat Expected

Sunday, July 14th 2019, 8:09 pm
By: Erick Payne

Don't let the cool weather fool you, more extreme heat is on the way.

EMSA has issued several medical heat alerts over the past week, including one Saturday.

Because of the heat, cooling stations are open this week to help those in need.

The medical heat alerts are issued on a day-to-day basis. Saturday's medical heat alert expired at midnight. All it takes to trigger that is medics responding to five or more heat-related calls in a day.

There are four cooling stations spread across Tulsa for people to step in out of the sun.

Two of those are open 24/7; the Salvation Army Center of Hope, and John 3:16 Mission.

The other two are the Tulsa County Social Services building, and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.

Toby Jenkins is the executive director of the center.

"We're just a community center that understands sometimes people don't have access to proper air-conditioning, and so we're happy to accommodate our neighbors," Jenkins said.

They're open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jenkins said they’re not a shelter or a feeding center, they're just trying to do the right thing.

"We've already got the building open, it's already air-conditioned, we've got staff here to help serve people," Jenkins said.

He said on any day, they typically see more than a dozen people trying to cool off - especially on particularly hot days.

"Summer's here, it always surprises us in Oklahoma, it arrives and then it's here and then it's hot," Jenkins said.

He said that's why many people can be caught off guard -- don't pay close enough attention -- and then get overheated.

"But also, you see individuals who don't have access to air conditioning for whatever reason, and then they get super overheated just being in their houses. Especially older adults and people who have other health issues," Jenkins said.

EMSA officials said they didn't have any heat related calls Sunday, so a medical heat alert was not issued. That again, could be issued on a day-to-day basis this week though.