While the temperatures slipped down into the high 80s early this week, the recent heat wave - likely to rev up again later this week - was the hottest in years for Upper Arlington and the rest of central Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.

While the temperatures slipped down into the high 80s early this week, the recent heat wave - likely to rev up again later this week - was the hottest in years for Upper Arlington and the rest of central Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS issued several heat advisories and excessive heat warnings in the past couple of weeks, with temperatures approaching the 100 degree mark.

Despite oppressively high temperatures, residents of Upper Arlington have several options for beating the heat.

To aid residents who may not have air conditioning or other options, the Upper Arlington Division of Fire has been acting as a drop-off point for donated box fans, according to public information officer Dan Kochensparger.

"All of the fire stations in the county are drop-off points for donated fans, and those normally are going to LifeCare Alliance," he said. "We've had several drop-offs since June, in response to that first campaign of the summer."

Kochensparger said about 45 fans have been collected at Station 72 to be distributed by LifeCare, a nonprofit that serves older adults or chronically ill residents in Franklin and Madison counties.

Since July 19, Kochensparger said, the fire division has responded to nine heat-related incidents - two "regular" EMS runs that came in through the city's 911 system, and seven others related to the Nationwide Children's Invitational golf tournament that took place at the Ohio State University Golf Course. All of those requests were cases of heat exhaustion or heat cramps, and were treated by fire personnel stationed on standby at the tournament, he said.

While the UAFD has responded to several calls for mutual aid in the past few weeks, there have been no structure fires in Upper Arlington to deal with, he said.

"With the heat the way it is, you'll see us hydrating a lot more ahead of time and after, and when there is a fire, that's a lot more taxing physically," he said. "What you'll really see is that something that might typically be a one-alarm fire might turn into a two-alarm, just because the weather is really requiring us to rotate our crews more often.

"Unfortunately, the same gear that protects us from the heat inside a house works against us in weather like this."

City recreation superintendent James Gant said that while the recreation department doesn't have any specific programs for residents to deal with the heat, all three city pools are open seven days a week.

"We've continued on as normal," he said. "With our day camps, we've been giving out a lot more popsicles and water balloons, and we're trying to stick with the calmer activities, not the heavy-duty outdoor activities.

"We've been seeing pretty heavy usage of the pools," Gant said, "and there are a lot of opportunities in Upper Arlington for swimming."

Kochensparger said residents who may be worried about an older adult friend or relative during the heat wave can relax if they're involved in the Kind Call program.

"We have some very computer-savvy members of our division who developed the Kind Call program years ago," he said. "Essentially, a computer automatically makes a phone call to the resident at a certain time each day, and if it makes contact, we know they're OK."

If the resident doesn't answer the call, the Kind Call computer calls a pre-established contact (a "key holder"), who can then check in on the resident. If the key holder does not respond, police and paramedics are dispatched to the resident's home.

"Most of the time it ends up being that someone forgot to call, but every once in awhile, someone can't reach the phones because they fell, or were having some difficulties," Kochensparger said. "That's where the value of the program really comes in."

Residents interested in participating in the Kind Call program can do so by contacting the city at 614-583-5326.

lrice@thisweeknews.com