Officer steps in to help 96-year-old woman in stifling hot house - - Columbia, South Carolina

Officer steps in to help 96-year-old woman in stifling hot house


Thanks to an officer with the Kansas City Police Department, an elderly woman who was without an air conditioner is now staying cool.

Officer Patrick Byrd was called to Indiana Avenue when a neighbor reported to police seeing a disoriented woman in the area. When Byrd arrived, he saw 96-year-old Helen Adams outside in the heat. He offered to take her home, but realized her house did not have a working air conditioner.

"She had a fan, but it was still very hot inside the residence," Byrd said. "At that time I asked her if she had central air or an air conditioning unit. She said the air went out a couple days ago."

Byrd called the Bishop Sullivan Center and found out that volunteers could help Adams through their Project ElderCool program.

"Project ElderCool is a program we've had for years now where we deliver air conditioners and install them for older persons on fixed incomes; people who can't afford a unit for themselves," said Maria Antonia, who works at the center.

The organization also deposits $100 in recipients' accounts so they do not feel guilty about keeping the air conditioner running when it is hot outside.

Byrd stayed with Adams while they waited for volunteers to arrive, and found out no one was checking on the elderly woman in this intense heat.

"I stayed with her for quite some time and she shared with me that she didn't have any living relatives to check on her," he said.

Police say this is a reminder to check on your neighbors when it is this hot, especially if they are elderly or have a medical condition.

Click here to find out more about Project ElderCool or to donate to the organization.

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