First responders address heat safety at Garner's Independence Day celebration

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Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Staying safe in the heat for Garner fireworks
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Staying safe in the heat for Garner fireworks

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's finally feeling like summer in the south. The heat has been brutal and the sun shining the brightest over Garner as hundreds of families packed Lake Benson Park for the annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks show. Monday evening was filled with food, activities for the kids, and music.

Also, this year, extreme heat. "It was a little bit of a surprise it was going to be this hot," said Chris Peck who was in Garner from Connecticut visiting his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, Charlotte.

"Your humidity is a little bit higher than ours so we might get a week or a couple of days of this, but this is special," he continued.

Which requires special attention and resources ready to handle any heat-related emergency. Captain Chris Adams with Garner Police said first responders were throughout the park on the lookout for anyone who got overheated. They responded to three heat related issues and one person with an allergic reaction.

Two people were taken to the hospital.

"People aren't used to this heat, and it has been a mild summer so far and within the last couple of days the heat indexes and temperatures have been on the rise, so we are concerned about heat illnesses today," said Capt. Adams.

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The town also set up misting stations to help everyone cool off and water stations to keep people hydrated. "It feels really hot but I'm keeping cool, and I will have fun," said Quinn Collier, who was at the park with her mom.

Families found a way to keep cool and have fun. They kept cool by enjoying things like ice cream, ice cold drinks, and frozen fruit.

Food vendors relied on portable fans to keep them cool as they served hundreds of people at the park.

But as the sun started to set the heat became a second thought and the fireworks show became the first.

"They light up the night sky. It's nice to watch the kids as they are in wonder at the fireworks and of course some adults really but it's the capstone of the whole event," said Garner Mayor Ken Marshburn.