Sacramento Region Swelters in Triple-Digit Heat

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WEST SACRAMENTO -- Rolling out as Mother Nature turns it up -- Engine 44 in West Sacramento has extra water and ice on board for anyone they might run into and for their crews battling heat inside and out.

"For structure fires, we could be anywhere from 50 to 60 pounds of gear and it's possible while working for a couple hours to lose five to 10 pounds of water weight," Fire Captain Ken Wong.

Just four hours into the first day slated to top 100 degrees in the Sacramento Valley, 50 percent of 44's calls were already connected to the heat.

"One was for an elderly resident who did not know how to work her AC system... had been sitting in her living room all morning and started to overheat," he said.

Later one homeless woman -- overcome by the mounting degrees long before the hottest part of the day -- had to be rushed to the hospital.

Richard Sypert, also homeless, knows what it's like to be up against the elements without the relief of shelter.

For now, a tree on the side of the road will have to do.

"Just try to stay cool as best you can," he said  with a sigh, leaning up against a fence.

The biggest issue?  Hydration.

"They hand out water and lunch over at, by the police station five days a week," Sypert explained.

That hydration help comes from the Mercy Coalition.

Actual water is best -- not sugar, caffeine or alcohol-laden drinks.

Remember if you're thirsty, you're already behind, already dehydrated.

And there's only more sizzling hot days to come.

West Sacramento has already designated cooling stations for those who will need them as heat waves strike.

Check the community center across from City Hall and the Arthur Turner Community library during regular business hours.

The city recreation center on the south side of town will be another spot open late into the evening when the cooling center system is activated.