MOUNT VERNON — The mercury has been rising, and locals have been scurrying to find ways to cool off during the sweltering days of summer. In just the third week of June, the central Ohio area has already surpassed the number of days from all of 2011 in which temperatures have reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Local agencies have been trying to do their part to assist residents in battling the heat and humidity. Offering help for seniors age 60 and over is The Station Break. Donations have been received to provide residents who can show a need with fans or air conditioners.
“They can’t receive an air conditioner if they already have an air conditioner,” Meredith Louther, activity coordinator, told the News about the assistance program. These are one-room air conditioners that are not designed to cool an entire house. A doctor’s statement is required in order to receive an air conditioner but is not necessary to receive a fan.
“Most doctors can give these to seniors pretty easily,” said Louther.
Area seniors who have a need for a fan or an air conditioner can stop in at The Station Break or call 397-3841. Once a doctor’s statement is obtained and eligibility determined, a Station Break representative will call to set up an appointment to deliver and install an air conditioner.
Working with the deliveries and installation is Bobby Folden, who said there have been 11 air conditioners and one fan delivered in the past month. Funds are still available for those area seniors who have a need.
Interchurch Social Services and the Mount Vernon Fire Department have been joining forces for many years in providing fans for area residents. The fire department collects fans or donations and then delivers both of these to Interchurch. “Basically, anybody can come in and sign up for a fan, but we do give priority to those over age 60, those with small children in the home and those who have a health problem,” said Joy Harris, executive director of ISS.
With the recent stretch of hot weather, Harris said that the first three fans were given out Thursday. Once fans arrive at ISS, calls are made to those on the waiting list, and the fans can then be picked up. There are currently 45 people on the waiting list looking for a fan, according to Harris. “We really don’t have any way to anticipate what it’s going to be like for the rest of the summer,” said Harris. “We just keep plugging away in trying to assist them the best we can.”