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Waukesha County copes with the weekend heat wave

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 19:08:03-04

The heat wave expected Friday and Saturday is going to mean a busy stretch at the Waukesha County Communications Center. 

"We definitely see an increase in calls when we have heat emergencies," said Christine Bannister, First Shift Supervisor. 

Bannister said common calls during excessive heat are from people who may be working or exercising outside. 

"Those calls are maybe from someone who wouldn't normally have any issues at all, but they're having symptoms for something like a heat stroke," Bannister said. 

She said common symptoms of heat-related illnesses can be nausea, dizziness, or stopping to sweat. 

Bannister said the communications center typically prioritizes medical calls based on severity. 

However, during a heat warning, all calls involving someone who's outdoors are given maximum resources. 

"We just want to make sure we're getting out there as fast as possible," Bannister said. "With folks who are outside, exposed to high heat, we're pushing out those calls as what we would call 'priority one' calls." 

Bannister said emergency officials in Waukesha County recommend people check on any elderly relatives during the heat and keep an eye out for anyone outdoors who looks like he or she is struggling in the hot temperatures. 

She said heat-related emergencies can be reported by calling 911. 

Waukesha County said residents looking to escape the heat and locate a cooling center can call 211. 

At the beach at Pewaukee's Lakefront Park, people were taking a dip in the water to stay cool. 

"It's a beautiful day outside, so we're enjoying the nice beach and building sandcastles," said Sarah Dobratz. 

Carlene Kranjac and Savannah Wedding said they were enjoying laying out in the sun. 

"After we tan for a bit, we'll go into the water," Kranjac said. 

The beach in Pewaukee was closed Thursday after potentially-dangerous algae was spotted in the water.

At the time, it was thought the algae could be the blue-green variety, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and/or a skin rash. 

However, the beach re-opened Friday. 

"We will be closely monitoring this situation all weekend and will close the beach once again should the algae return," said Kelley Woldanski, Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Services for the Village of Pewaukee. "We do not have any test results to confirm what type of algae it was, but we always side on the error or caution when it comes to the safety of our beach users."