Portland Fire Bureau Reports at Least One Heat-Related Death From Monday

The human toll of a superheated weekend, by the numbers.

Heat Wave Portland Timbers A Providence Park worker wipes his brow on June 26. (Brian Burk) (Brian Burk)

One hundred sixteen. That’s the number you’ll remember from this past weekend—the hottest in Portland history. For three days of a “heat dome” that turned the Pacific Northwest into something like a Bundt pan, each day brought a temperature higher than the last—until the thermostat peaked at 116 degrees at Portland International Airport on the afternoon of June 28.

But other numbers also measured the effects of the unimaginable heat. We asked city, county and state agencies to share numbers that reflected just how dangerous the heat dome was for Portlanders.

901: Emergency medical services calls made throughout the county Sunday and Monday. Of those, 558 resulted in transports.

97: Emergency department and urgent care clinic visits for heat illness in Multnomah County since Friday.

100: Number of emergency visits for heat-related illnesses that is typical for an entire Portland summer.

1: Heat-related deaths Portland Fire & Rescue documented between Friday and Monday. The death occurred on Monday, the fire bureau says. The Oregon Health Authority said it could not confirm the death because there’s typically a lag in gleaning that information. “At this time, we don’t have confirmed reports of deaths but are seeking information from our local partners,” an OHA spokesperson said.

299: Heat-related incidents Portland Fire & Rescue responded to between Friday and Monday. Spokesman Rob Garrison tells WW that’s about three times the standard call volume—20 calls were coming in at a time pretty much continuously for the whole weekend. The calls included three fires, dozens of heat exposure calls, reports of people unconscious, heat falls and downed power lines. One call was identified as “Unknown problem – life status questionable.”

2,624: The number of 911 calls received on Monday alone.

18,000: Water bottles the Joint Office of Homeless Services distributed to outreach groups to hand out over a four-hour span on Sunday from its downtown supply center.

106: Highest temperature of a patient treated by Providence Health. Over the weekend and into Monday, Providence’s four emergency departments treated at least 24 people for heat illness. “These include patients with symptoms ranging from dizziness to heat stroke to temperatures as high as 106,” said Providence spokeswoman Jean Marks. “Most patients are treated and released after they receive care with standard chilling protocols—which reduce body temperature slowly through chilled IV fluids and ice packs.”

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