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Border Patrol heat rescues triple with still four months remaining

Agents forecast how many rescues they'll have by the end of the year - CBS 13'S April Hettinger reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents are still seeing 450 to 500 migrants crossing the border every day, and with triple-digit temperatures starting a little earlier this year, the number of heat-related rescues have tripled.

Yuma Sector rescued 73 migrants in fiscal year 2020. So far this year, they have rescued 277 migrants in the desert.

Agt. Vinny Dulesky says those who are trying to run away from agents usually need the most medical attention compared to migrants who surrender.

"Typically, what they'll do is they'll go out in those remote areas to try and evade us, and, you know, after a couple of miles the heat starts getting to them and we see ourselves in a rescue situation," Agt. Dulesky stated.

There are 24 rescue beacons in the Yuma Sector area of responsibility that migrants can push for medical help.

"We also have a Missing Migrant Program that has signs dispersed in very desolate locations where if migrants find themselves in those areas, they know they can call 9-1-1 and get a signal out, and they have codes on the sign that if they relay those codes, then we know where to respond," Agt. Dulesky explained.

There have only been 12 fatalities so far this year because agents were able to quickly locate the patients; however, there are still several weeks left of triple digit temperatures.

"If things continue how they are now, we could easily see 80+ more rescues," Agt. Dulesky said.

Yuma Sector recently graduated over 20 Emergency Medical Technicians to combat the influx of heat-related rescues.

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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