Fan donations needed for people at risk of heat illness

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Central Ohio is bracing for the first heat wave of 2016. Temperatures are expected to hover well into the 90s for the next four days, bringing heat that can kill at-risk citizens.

LifeCare Alliance is putting out a plea for donations of new box fans to keep clients cool.

“People who are seniors or medically challenged can go into heat exhaustion and heat stroke much easier than you or I could,” said Chuck Gehring, President & CEO, LifeCare Alliance. “It’s a very dangerous situation.”

Gehring said there hasn’t been a heat-related death in Franklin County for more than seven years. He likes to credit the thousands of fans donated every year with saving lives.

“We go through 2-4,000 fans a summer,” said Gehring. “We have new people that need them. And we are getting a new population of younger people calling.”

Health officials advise people use extreme caution when working or playing during heat advisories like those expected this weekend.

Columbus Recreation and Parks said all pools and splash pads will be open. Recreation centers will serve as cooling stations during regular business hours. The buildings are closed on the weekends during the summer, but city officials are taking a look at keeping them open this weekend.

“This is going to be a tough week. We’ve got to get all these fans out to people before it gets so bad out,” said Gehring.

Fans must be new and in their original box. Donations can be dropped off at any Franklin County fire station. Monetary donations can be sent to LifeCare Alliance, 1699 Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223.

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