Arizona Boosts Protections From Extreme Heat After 100s Died Last Summer

"TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona’s new heat officer said Friday that he is working with local governments and nonprofit groups to open more cooling centers and ensure homes have working air conditioners this summer in a more unified effort to prevent another ghastly toll of heat-related deaths, which topped 900 statewide last year.

“We don’t want to see that happen again,” Dr. Eugene Livar said of last year’s deaths. “We cannot control it, even though we can control our preparation in response. And that’s what we’ve been focusing on.”

Livar, a physician with the Arizona State Department of Health Services, was named to his post by Gov. Katie Hobbs earlier this year, making him the first heat officer of a U.S. state in the nation. The new position recognizes the serious public health risks posed by climate-fueled extreme heat, which has increased in recent years."

Anita Snow reports for the Associated Press May 3, 2024.

Source: AP, 05/06/2024