Paramedics treat 100 people for heat-related issues on Canada Day

Ottawa paramedics say they treated at least 100 people on Sunday for heat-related health matters at the city's various Canada Day celebrations.

Many people are following hot weather tips, paramedic service says

Michèle-Renée Charbonneau holds one of her sons in front of a giant cooling machine on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during the 2018 Canada Day celebrations. Temperatures were slated to hit a high of 36 C. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

Ottawa paramedics say they treated dozens of people for heat-related issues during the city's Canada Day celebrations as scorching temperatures descended upon the capital.

The temperature had risen from a Sunday morning low of 20 C to 34 C by noon, according to Environment Canada.

The humidity, however, made it feel more like the mid-40s.

By 10 p.m. Sunday, 101 people had been treated at Canada Day events across the city, most for heat-related issues.

Eighteen people were taken to hospital for heat exhaustion and heart problems, Ottawa Paramedic Service spokesperson Marc-Antoine Deschamps said.

One person also had a heart attack at Mayor Jim Watson's Canada Day breakfast, he added.

"Overall, people have been following the safety messages. So they've been drinking lots of water and other fluids. They've been staying away from caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you," Deschamps said.

"We're really grateful for everyone who's been following those tips."

Marc-Antoine Deschamps of the Ottawa Paramedic Service said his crews have treated dozens of people for heat-related issues during the city's 2018 Canada Day festivities. (Olivia Chandler/CBC)

Misting stations 

Unlike last year's celebrations, as of 1 p.m. there were no lineups to get past security and onto Parliament Hill, the Department of Canadian Heritage said in a statement.

There were approximately 3,500 people on Parliament Hill as of 1:15 p.m. — a drop from roughly 6,200 people less than two hours earlier, officials said.

The highest recorded temperature for the city on July 1 was 36.7 C in 1963, when the annual celebration of the birth of the Canada was called Dominion Day. The first Canada Day celebration wasn't until 1983. 

Thousands of people are already on Parliament Hill this year despite the heat. Many are taking advantage of misting stations set up for the celebration to help people cool off. 

The City of Ottawa's public health agency is advising participants celebrating Canada Day in the city to make plans to seek shelter from the sun to avoid overexposure, avoid strenuous activities, drink plenty of fluids and limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.

The Royal Canadian Mint, meanwhile, announced that all of its free Canada Day tours have been cancelled after its air conditioning broke early Sunday morning.

The free tours will still take place July 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the mint said.