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Heat a potential factor in construction worker fatality

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 20th, 2012

MARANA ó Northwest Fire District paramedics were called to the Costco located at 3901 W. Costco Drive, near Orange Grove and Thornydale, on Tuesday after a 44 year-old male construction worker collapsed with possible heat related illness.

Upon arrival, crews found the 44 year-old victim in cardiac arrest with bystander CPR in progress. Crews worked to revive the victimís heartbeat but were unsuccessful after 20 minutes of advanced life support measures.

Co-workers told responders that the victim had been working on a barrier protection system for a new propane tank that was being installed near the tire shop at the Costco. The victim had experienced symptoms of heat related illness prior to his collapse.

Temperatures were 106 degrees throughout the afternoon

Marana Police Department was at the scene and is conducting an investigation into the fatality. The victim was not employed by the Costco, but a contractor that was doing work at the location.

Northwest Fire reminds everyone that the high temps over the next several days can be deadly. Northwest Fire urges everyone to limit outside activities, suspend activities that are taxing to the body during the high temperatures and drink increased amounts of water. If anyone feels heat related symptoms, they are urged to seek relief inside a cooled environment and contact 9-1-1 as needed.

Early symptoms include: weakness, thirst, excessive sweating, dizziness, near fainting or fainting symptoms, vision issues, headache, muscle cramping, and fatigue.

Later symptoms include loss of consciousness, fainting, altered mental status (confusion) labored breathing.

Northwest Fire/rescue district provides professional fire protection, emergency medical services and related public education to 110,000 residents and 3,300 commercial occupancies in a 140 square mile area. Ten fire stations are staffed 365 days a year by 192 firefighters, who are also paramedics or emergency medical technicians and can respond to emergencies within minutes. Northwest fireís technical rescue team responds to calls to swift water, confined space and rugged terrain rescues. The nationally accredited not for-profit was formed in 1983 by residents of metropolitan Tucson northwest neighborhoods and is governed by a 5-member board and is funded through secondary property taxes based upon assessed property values. Learn more at: Northwestfire.org

For the complete article see the 07-01-2012 issue.

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