Extreme heat creates safety concerns, sets records across New England

Doctors and emergency officials say on a day like this you need to stay hydrated

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Schools in Newton, Massachusetts, have canceled after-school activities as the blistering hot weather continues.

Newton, Norwood and Boston Public Schools all have half days Thursday and Friday.



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And Worcester Public Schools ended the school year early due to lack of air conditioning in many of its buildings.

But it can be really dangerous for people who have to work outside, like a medical emergency caught on camera in Roslindale on Wednesday.

Boston fire officials said one of the men working on a roof was overcome by heat exhaustion. They said he was conscious, but very weak, so firefighters used ladders and a bucket to get him down from the roof and transport him to a hospital.

Witnesses said he seemed to be in distress for about 15 to 20 minutes before someone called 911 for help.

“When the heat hits the roof, it goes even higher, so they said it gets up to 140 degrees while they’re working there, because the shingles are made to reflect the sun and the heat away," said Keith Williams, who witnessed the rescue.

Here's what it was like in Gloucester amid the intense heat Thursday.

“I just noticed that they were having a medical emergency with the guy on the roof, and they were fanning him and pouring a lot of water on him," added Thora Williams, another witness. "They were standing around him, he was laying on the roof on his back and he was shaking, like shivering. His legs were shaking, his hands were shaking."

Emergency officials say you shouldn't wait in a situation like that – call for help when someone is overcome by the heat.

They also suggest people working outside take frequent breaks, use sun protection and hats, and stay hydrated.

"Stay cool by staying indoors at the hottest hours. Make sure you have sun protection on, make sure if you're out -- especially with young kids -- that everyone's wearing hats," said Dr. Robyn Riseberg, Boston Community Pediatrics founder. "And then try not to do any vigorous activity outside, especially in the middle of the day."

The blistering heat wave has left people sweltering across the East Coast, including places like northern Maine where they rarely experience such conditions this early in the year.

The city of Caribou, Maine, just 10 miles from the Canadian border, saw a record 103 degrees Wednesday on the heat index, which combines heat and humidity. Temperatures in Caribou were hotter than Miami: 94 degrees compared with 89, according to the National Weather Service.

Several residents said they were used to temperatures in the 70s and 80s in June and rarely this humid.

“I've seen this maybe one time before where it's been this hot in June,” said Hannah Embelton, 22, a server at an ice cream store in Caribou, adding that customers were staying away from the soft serve options because they melt took quickly.

“We usually never get the brunt of all this heat and humidity because we are so north. Just how hot it is, that is all everyone is talking about," she added.

Over at Moose River Campground, about 13 miles from the border, owner Lisa Hall was fixing a cabin faucet amid the sizzling temperatures and said such conditions are more common in mid July or early August.

"I am sweating like crazy and it's way too hot," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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