Heat takes toll on locals

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Triple-digit temperatures are nothing new in Phoenix, but people tend to forget just how unforgiving that kind of heat can be.

Wednesday morning, a 59-year-old woman had to be helped off of South Mountain after becoming dehydrated while hiking.

"She was feeling dehydrated and weak, maybe a little bit dizzy, so her son went ahead and called 911 and called us," said Park Ranger Allyson Pacini.

Park rangers said it was a good thing the woman recognized her symptoms and was able to call for help before a bad situation got worse.

Franklin Montgomery was also hiking South Mountain Wednesday morning with his kids.

"It was pretty hot. Halfway up, my head started getting hurt and I started feeling dizzy," said his 10-year-old son, Joseph.

With a little bit more water, they were able to make it down just fine, but Montgomery, who lives in Phoenix, told 3TV the heat did kind of sneak up on him.

"We got out of the car, and the heat was pretty intense. It was a lot more than I expected," Montgomery said.

He is not alone.

"I think familiarity breeds contempt," said Bob England, the director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

England said a lot of Valley natives think since they've dealt with this heat in the past, it's no big deal and therefore they push it, getting themselves into trouble.

"People who've lived with this for a long time think it's no big deal 'cause we've felt it that hot a lot, and I think we get careless," England said.

According to the county's statistics, between 50 and 100 deaths each summer are attributed to heat-related issues.

England told 3TV it is a significant problem.

Still, he said there are simple things you can do to keep from becoming a statistic this summer.

"I'm not saying don't go outside when it's hot, but your body needs breaks. it needs to cool off in between," he said.

In addition he said to simply pay attention to your body and if you start to feel off, it's time to cool off.