A comparison study of heat related emergency 911 Calls: Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois from 2003 to 2006

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Donna A. Hartz, Arizona State Univ., Scottsdale, AZ; and C. Sister and W. C. Chuang

Handout (167.3 kB)

Heatwaves and their impact on human health are increasingly the focus of research and governmental policy makers. Extreme heat events are responsible for more deaths in the United States than floods, hurricanes and tornados combined. With projections of increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves, the most recent IPCC report calls for more research on health impacts of climate, particularly heat induced. Regional temperature increases could exacerbate the increased heat already experienced by urban populations caused by urbanization. Though the majority of research concentrates on heat deaths, more and more studies are being focused on heat induced illness. This study uses a data set consisting “heat related emergency” 911 calls identified by emergency responders as “heat” related, from the cities of Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois for the years 2003 through 2006. Heat-related emergency dispatch (HRD) counts and climate characteristics vary considerably between these two cities. This presentation compares a series of findings that includes climate, social factors and remotely sensed urban morphology factors that impact heat related emergency dispatch calls (HRD) in these two cities with very different climates.