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Task Force Helps Fight Heat

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POSTED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 6:24pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 6:33pm

EL PASO - Extreme temperatures can mean extremely dangerous conditions.

That's why the Extreme Weather Task Force is giving out fans to people who don't have the means to stay cool.

"Some families, the fans we give them, is the only source of air conditioning they have in their home," Family Protective Services Spokesman Paul Zimmerman said.  "Other people, maybe elderly people on fixed incomes can't afford necessarily to run their utilities. They're on fixed incomes and they have to decide between, 'well should i eat or should i run the air conditioner?'"

Martha Benitez is one of the lucky ones. She doesn't have to make that decision. Today she received one of the 200 fans given out so far this year.

"It's really real nice cause a lot of people will be needing those fans and especially the senior citizens," Benitez said.

But fans can only do so much, and the elderly are the most susceptible to heat-related deaths. So it's important to check on your neighbor.

If you think you need a fan, dial 211.  If you would like to donate a working fan, new or used, drop it off at any El Paso fire station.

The Extreme Weather Task Force estimates it still needs about 600 more fans to fill the demand.

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