Introduction to the EMS HeatTracker
The Biden administration has introduced a national system, known as the EMS HeatTracker, to monitor heat-related illnesses across the United States.
This system aims to address the urgent need to track and mitigate the impacts of extreme heat on communities.
Federal Response to Extreme Heat
The EMS HeatTracker will be overseen by the Health and Human Services Department and will feature a national dashboard displaying maps of emergency services that respond to heat-related illness calls.
It will also gather data on age, race, gender, and urbanicity of affected individuals.
Recognizing the Issue of Heat-Related Illnesses
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra stated that “heat is no longer a silent killer” and acknowledged the efforts of communities across the country in protecting people from the impacts of the climate crisis.
The introduction of the EMS HeatTracker reflects the need to address this growing public health concern.
Record-Breaking Temperatures and Consequences
This summer has seen numerous major U.S. cities breaking heat records, leading to severe consequences.
The impact of extreme temperatures has prompted state and local officials to call for comprehensive federal action to address the effects of extreme heat.
Limitations of Current Federal Response
The federal government’s response to heat-related disasters is currently limited by restrictions outlined in the Stafford Act.
Calls have been made to amend the Act to include heat-related incidents, but such changes are still pending.
Heat-Related Deaths in the United States
Heat is currently the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, as highlighted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The introduction of the EMS HeatTracker is a step towards addressing this significant public health concern.
Urgency to Address Extreme Heat Events
The Biden administration’s move to track heat-related illnesses reflects the urgent need to respond to the challenges posed by extreme heat events.
It recognizes the need for comprehensive monitoring and mitigation strategies.
National Dashboard for Monitoring Heat-Related Illnesses
The EMS HeatTracker will feature a national dashboard that provides maps of emergency services responding to heat-related illness calls.
This visual representation will help identify areas of high impact and inform targeted interventions.
Gathering Essential Data Points
In addition to tracking emergency response services, the EMS HeatTracker will gather data on demographics, including age, race, gender, and urbanicity of individuals affected by heat-related illnesses.
This data will help identify vulnerable populations.
Recognizing Heat as a Public Health Concern
The introduction of the EMS HeatTracker acknowledges that extreme heat is not just a weather event but a public health concern.
It emphasizes the need for proactive measures to protect communities.
Amplifying Calls for Federal Action
The impact of extreme heat events has amplified calls from state and local officials for more comprehensive federal action.
The EMS HeatTracker is a step towards addressing these demands and improving the federal response to heat-related incidents.
Addressing the Impacts of Extreme Heat
The launch of the EMS HeatTracker by the Biden administration represents a significant step in addressing the impacts of extreme heat and protecting communities from heat-related illnesses.
This federal system aims to provide essential data and tracking capabilities to inform targeted interventions..