New federal dashboard tracks heat-related illness in US
A new US dashboard compiles Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responses to 911 calls for heat-related illnesses and injuries, helping government officials pinpoint where resources and interventions such as cooling centers and additional tree coverage should be focused.
“Heat is no longer a silent killer. From coast-to-coast, communities are battling to keep people cool, safe and alive due to the growing impacts of the climate crisis,” Xavier Becerra, JD, secretary of Health and Human Services, said in an announcement. Between 2018 and 2022, the rate of heat-related emergency services calls rose from 10.5 to 14.9 per 100 000 people, according to the EMS HeatTracker website.
Major data points in the tracker, which will be updated weekly, include the rate of heat-related EMS calls in a given area, the average time for EMS personnel to reach the patient, and the percentage of patients that EMS transports to a medical facility for additional care.