ST. LOUIS - Every summer, people in the community struggle to stay cool as temperatures heat up. Cool Down St. Louis is stepping up efforts to save lives during the hot summer months.
Cool Down St. Louis helps those in need with utility bills. Ameren Missouri donated 600 energy efficient air conditioners to help those who struggle to stay cool.
"These air conditioners save lives and there's no debate about it," said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.
Wednesday is the kick off to Cool Down St. Louis. Chief Jenkerson said our seniors, disabled, low-income families and children are most at risk when it heats up.
"Touch them, reach out and touch them, their hand or arm, if their skin temperature is too hot, they need help and let's get it to them right away," Chief Jenkerson said.
This is the 19th year for Cool Down St. Louis. Fox 2's Chief Meteorologist Glenn Zimmerman and Chris Higgins are proud to be a part of it.
"One of the things we learned in kindergarten was, 'help your neighbors.' Thanks to Ameren Missouri and Cool Down St. Louis, we need to help our neighbors stay cool this summer," Zimmerman said.
St. Louis Mayor and Honorary Chair Lyda Krewson said it is all about helping the community survive the summer heat.
"Part of our S.O.S. (Save Our Seniors) summer project is to encourage each and every one of you to check on your elderly neighbors. Make sure they have an air conditioner and make sure they turn it on," said Mayor Krewson.
"Even if an elderly person thinks they can't pay a bill, contact us...ut keep the air conditioners on, it may be a matter of life or death," said Chair Emeritus Rev. Earl E. Nance.
Ameren Missouri partnered with Cool Down St. Louis once again this year. In the past 14 years, Ameren Missouri has donated 5,500 energy efficient air conditioning units.
"In addition, Ameren is also donating 300,000 to Cool Down St. Louis as part of our community outreach program. We are thrilled to do that. Focused on seniors, disabled, and low-income families to make sure they keep those units on," said Chairman and President of Ameren Missouri Michael Moehn.
Last year, Cool Down St. Louis distributed about 1,000 donated air conditioners thanks to Ameren Missouri and the public.