Firemen Rescue Elderly Woman Overcome By The Heat

Friday, July 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa firefighters saved an elderly woman Thursday who they say was near death from the heat. 79-year-old Rulie Landrum collasped in her home, where the temperature inside was more than 110 degrees. She was saved when a Morton Health Center bus stopped by to pick her up for her doctor's appointment. A nurse said she could hear Landrum yelling, but she was too weak to open the door. The fire department was called and firefighters forced their way in. "If you've ever been hot, you know how you get so hot that you can't breathe. That's what it was like in that house," said Captain Mark Sipe, Tulsa Fire Department.

Landrum's air conditioner was broken. Sipe says she was barely coherent.
She was taken to the Morton Center, then transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion. "When you see something like that, it's pretty hard to take as being a fireman," said Sipe. "What makes it sad is she's not the only one. There will be two more people down this block and two more people down that street that are in the same situation as she is in."

But the day didn't end as bad as it began for Landrum. The firefighters returned with a new air conditioner. They even installed it for her. The window unit came from Tulsa's Weather Coalition. It is only on loan, though. The coalition will pick it up in the fall so it can be used again next year. "Those are going in the homes of very, very, ill, frail people. These are not designed for people who want to be more comfortable. It's really a health, life sustaining kind of service," said Jim Lyall, Weather Coalition.

It will be a life-saving device for Landrum. The firefighters are a big reason why she will have a better chance of making it through another scorching, hot summer. Landrum was treated and released from Hillcrest Medical Center.