San Francisco supervisor holds heat hearing calling for improvements

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There was criticism Wednesday for the coordinated response to the record heat wave earlier this month in San Francisco.

RELATED: Record-setting heat wave to blame for six Bay Area deaths

Supervisor Aaron Peskin says San Francisco has protocols in place to deal with the record temperatures we saw earlier this month, but says those protocols, including setting up cooling shelters, were not followed early enough.

"I don't always want to be beating up on these folks who work very hard but I also want them and the public to know that their elected board of supervisors is watching," said Supervisor Peskin -- which is why he called the heatwave hearing.

As 911 call volumes doubled, the Department of Emergency Management says they responded to ninety percent of the calls within fifteen seconds, just five seconds more than their goal.

RELATED: Bay Area heat surges spark worry among Napa wine growers

San Francisco's fire chief applauded the response. "From the 911 call system perspective we did get it right," said Chief

Joanne Hayes-White.

911 dispatchers disagreed. "It's not an easy job, not many people can do it and the department is in a really bad shape and we need a lot of help," said dispatcher Joan

"I empathize they have some staffing issues that they're working on," said Hayes-White.

The National Weather Service says the heat Labor Day weekend was unprecedented

The Department of Emergency Management and Department of Public Health agreed that the most vulnerable people in San Francisco needed to be notified sooner and in person.

"Part of emergency response is how do you improve," said Director of Health at the Department of Public Health Barbara Garcia.

"Next time it better not happen," Peskin added.

Click here to download the ABC7 News App to get your weather forecast on the go. And make sure you enable push alerts for immediate notifications and severe weather alerts.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.