Outdoor workers try to beat Fresno heat -- even at a water park

The Fresno BeeJuly 2, 2014 

At Island Waterpark in Fresno, the brightly colored waterslides and refreshing pools are a destination for many people needing to cool off during a heat spell like the one occurring now.

However, for the park employees, the heat bears down on them just as much as hard-hat workers in construction zones.

Amber Watson, general manager of Island Waterpark, located at 6099 W. Barstow Ave., said the heat makes it much harder to work.

"It does not matter what you're doing, it's hot and it's tiring," Watson said.

Watson said she tries her best to keep guests at the park happy, even when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees.

On Wednesday, Fresno's high reached 104 , the fourth day in a row the high was in the triple digits.

Hot, clear weather is forecast to continue through the 4th of July weekend. The National Weather Service says Fresno's high temperatures will hover around 103 degrees today through Sunday.

When it is that hot, it is no fun to work in a kitchen, said Manny Rodriguez, the assistant foods manager at Island Waterpark.

On Wednesday, Rodriguez helped guests deal with the heat by delivering free cups of ice water.

"I just try to help keep people as cool as possible," he said.

Rodriguez said he has to make sure that he and his staff stay hydrated, too, since it's much hotter in the kitchen than outside.

Kathy Kalpakoff, the EMT at the park, is busy when there is a heat wave.

"It's just so stinkin' hot," Kalpakoff said. "I've had to handle a lot of cases of heat exhaustion."

Many cases of the heat-caused illness develop because customers forget to drink water.

When people are surrounded by pools and fountains, they often don't stay hydrated, and they forget to eat as well, she said. That leads to fatigue, dizziness, and heat-related illnesses.

To stay cool on hot and busy days like Wednesday afternoon, Kalpakoff likes to drink lots of ice water and sit in the shade whenever she has the chance.

Trent Hunt is the aquatics supervisor at Island Waterpark and his job consists of managing the lifeguards.

"It's extremely hot, but you just gotta roll with it," Hunt said. "I always dump water on my head."

Hunt said he's used to the heat since he has worked previous summers at the park.

"I'm here every summer," Hunt said. "When I get home, I'll run the AC and it will be nice and cool."

The reporter can be reached at smartin@fresnobee.com or @SharonBMartin on Twitter.

The Fresno Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service