SLFS Issues Heat Safety Alert – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) has issued a heat safety alert, warning Jazz and Arts Festival patrons of the potential health risks from exposure to direct sunlight.

The SLFS alert came as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that the global temperature record streak continued last month.

According to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, it was the warmest April on record, the eleventh month in a row of record global temperatures.

The WMO declared 2023 the hottest year on record but said there was ‘high probability’ that 2024 would be another record-hot year.

Saint Lucia Fire Service EMS Coordinator, Ag Station Officer Ireneus A. Henry, has explained that there are various heat-related emergencies.

Henry said they range from minor heat cramps or heat syncope and can escalate to heat exhaustion or, in severe cases, potentially fatal heat stroke. 

He said that as locals and visitors celebrate during the Jazz and Arts Festival, prioritising fire and injury prevention and safeguarding their health and safety are crucial.

The senior SLFS official offered the following tips to ensure a memorable and safe Jazz 2024:

1. Avoid direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight:

a) Utilize hats, umbrellas, and choose appropriate clothing.

b) Apply sunscreen and use sunshades.

c) Seek out shaded areas whenever possible.

d) Remember to bring rags for waving, as they can also provide relief from the heat.

2. Take regular breaks from physical activity to allow your body to cool:

a) Carry chairs, mats, or cushions for resting.

b) Avoid standing for the entire event.

c) Wear comfortable shoes to prevent discomfort and fatigue.

3. Stay hydrated:

a) Start hydrating the day before the event to give your body a head start.

b) Consume plenty of water or sports drinks to maintain hydration.

c) Limit the intake of alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.

” We encourage everyone to follow these safety tips and guidelines to have a memorable and incident-free Jazz 2024,” Henry said.