Salt Lake County residents get creative to beat the heat
Jun 4, 2021, 6:29 PM
(Lifeguards at the pool of the Taylorsville Recreation Center getting training for the summer. Photo: Paul Nelson)
SALT LAKE COUNTY – With temperatures reaching the triple digits in parts of the Salt Lake Valley, Utah residents are finding creative ways to beat the heat. Salt Lake County officials are reminding everyone there are several places where people can go to cool off.
People can, obviously, just stay home and watch TV next to the air conditioner if they want, but that just isn’t an appealing option for county residents like Ryan Shipley. He says he did that last summer during the pandemic, binge-watching Seinfeld, and he doesn’t want to stay cooped up indoors.
He says, “As much as I loved that, when all of the sudden you’re [told] that’s the only thing you can do, there’s a natural rebellion inside that makes you want to do what you can’t do, For the past year, that was being outside.”
He and his wife spent their lunch hour in a shady spot in Liberty Park, saying it felt great to be outdoors.
“It’s a dry heat and being able to be in the shade is a drastic difference than being in the sun,” according to Shipley.
Other people headed to public pools across the valley. County-run facilities are officially opening their outdoor pools for the summer this weekend. One woman came with her granddaughter to the Taylorsville Recreation Center pool and was disappointed to see she came one day too early.
She says, “It’s just too hot to do anything else.”
The county’s indoor pools were already open, and Liz Sollis with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation says people can find the closest one by logging on to their website.
“We’ve got outdoor pools around the county. We’ve also got indoor pools, so if people don’t want to be out in the sun but they want to cool down, they can utilize our indoor pools,” according to Sollis.
However, people don’t have to get wet to get cool.
Sollis says, “Additionally, beyond just the pools, we’ve got our ice rinks that people could frequent. We’ve got tons of shaded parks.”
Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services is spearheading the “Cool Zone” program, which lets people know where they can go if they need to escape the heat. Officials say places like libraries, recreation centers and senior centers are open to the public and people can go inside, free of charge. However, they’re warning people to take steps to protect themselves from heat-related health issues. They include…
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water & liquids, avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
- Wear appropriate clothing – light colored & lightweight fabrics work best.
- Stay indoors during midday when outside temperatures are hottest, usually between noon and 3 p.m.
- Take it easy, avoiding exercise and strenuous activity when it’s hottest outside.
- Know the warning signs of heat-related illness, which include dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
- Seek a Cool Zone – visit a county facility to escape the heat.