City officials busy offering heat-related services

July 21, 2011

by Lauren Chooljian

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Patrons at a Chicago PNC Bank branch wait in line for free ice cream during a checking account promotion on Wednesday.

Chicago officials are working around the clock to help people during this sweltering heat. Emergency Services Director Ben Alonzo said the city is fielding a high volume of calls for well-being checks. He said the checks are a crucial part of the city's heat emergency plan.

"It's very important because we don't want anybody dying is a result of the heat, especially when it's something that can be remedied by just a simple visit," Alonzo said.

Penny Adams has been working in the office for 25 years. She said things aren't as busy as they were during the 1995 heat wave. The high temperatures that year reportedly killed more than 700 people.