Alameda County police take steps to protect K-9 officers during heat wave

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A tool is being tested to notify Alameda County K-9 officers on their smart phones if temperatures are too high in their patrol cars. (KGO-TV)

As the Bay Area braces for Wednesday's heat, everyone from police to medical professionals are getting ready.

A heat alarm system lets Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Dennington know the temperature in the back of his canine patrol car. "Once the back gets to 90 degrees, it automatically sets the sensors off. There goes the alarm and the windows and the fans," he said.

The tool is being tested to notify Alameda County K-9 officers on their smart phones, too.

MORE: Heat stroke or heat exhaustion: Do you know the difference?

Sometimes, Dennington may need to step away from the car without K-9 Officer Dan. "Sometimes we go into people's houses. Sometimes we are around kids. It's not feasible to do that," he said.

"The public needs to know that if we are going through all these checks and balances to keep our dogs safe, that you cannot leave your dog in the car, even with the windows cracked," Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. Sergeant Ray Kelley said.

Doctors at John Muir Medical Center treated a few patients on Tuesday for heat-related illnesses. "Most people just don't think it's gonna happen to them," Dr. David Wei said. "I've had people who go out and are hiking Mt. Diablo in 100-degree weather."

He says to avoid physical activity during the hottest time of the day. "I stayed indoors and went to the library, but I think it's cooling down a little so we are going to the park," Walnut Creek resident Mansi Kapoor said.
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"I try to make him go swimming but he won't get in the pool," Dennington said.

But K-9 Officer Dan will practice bomb sniffing drills in the shade. It's where the two will spend a lot of time this summer.

RELATED: Tips for beating the heat and staying safe during a heat wave

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