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Checking on vulnerable people during hot spell

Volunteers have begun calling more than 2,500 vulnerable members of the community in South Australia

Friday January 4, 2013

Checking on vulnerable people during hot spell

Acting Executive Director South Australia, Helen Farinola, says heat events can be dangerous for anyone, especially the elderly or people with a medical condition, and everyone should take steps to ensure their safety in the current hot spell.

"As part of our Telecross REDi service, Red Cross volunteers are calling registered clients to check on their wellbeing and to provide information on how to cope with the heat," said Ms Farinola.

"Volunteers will call people up to three times a day for the length of the current heat wave. If a call goes unanswered by a client then we will activate an emergency procedure to check they are safe."

The Telecross REDi service involves Red Cross volunteers making telephone calls to more than 2,500 registered clients on days when an extreme weather event has been declared by the South Australian Government. The service is an extension of the Red Cross Telecross service whereby elderly and socially isolated people receive a daily call to check they are OK.

Participants in Telecross REDi include people who are elderly, people with a disability and people who are experiencing mental illness or who have an ongoing illness such as diabetes or a heart condition.

"Research shows extreme heat events have killed more people than bushfires, floods or any other natural disaster in Australia. We are calling on everyone to take the risks of heat seriously and undertake steps to ensure your safety this summer," said Ms Farinola.

"To reduce the risks you should avoid being outside in the heat of the day, do what you can to stay cool, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and if you need help don't be afraid to ask. It is also important to think about friends, family and neighbours who might be in need of some extra assistance or care during the hot spell."

To make a donation to support the work of Red Cross with vulnerable people and communities please visit www.redcross.org.au.

If you are in South Australia and would like to volunteer for Telecross REDi or enquire about registering to receive calls please call 1800 188 071 or email telecrossredi@redcross.org.au.

 

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