LYNN — With temperatures expected to reach nearly 100 degrees this weekend, Lynn is giving residents a place to cool down.
Lynn’s Emergency Management team has organized a cooling center at Marshall Middle School, 100 Brookline St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The center will be staffed by volunteers with the Medical Reserve Corps, a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety and resiliency of their communities.
“If a resident’s AC is broken or the heat is getting too much for them, they can pop in for a few hours and take a breather,” said Lynn Emergency Management Director Paul Ricchi. “It’s kind of like going to the mall to cool off, only a little bit more organized.”
The cooling center will be in the school’s community center, which has been used before by the city for emergency situations, said Ricchi. He remembered when the location was used as a sleeping shelter during a major storm a few years ago, but he couldn’t recall a time when Lynn hosted a cooling center during his tenure.
About 150 people can comfortably fit into the area at one time, said Ricchi, but he anticipates residents will come in and out throughout the day, especially during the warmest points. The center will be for cooling purposes only, meaning no food or water will be provided, he said.
The last time Lynn hosted a cooling center was about four years ago, before Ricchi was on the job, he said.
If a medical emergency occurs there during the weekend, Ricchi said on-staff custodians and the corps volunteers will use the conventional 911 system and call for first responders.
“My predecessor let me know we had them in the past,” he said.
Lynn Police will conduct security checks at the cooling center throughout both days, said Ricchi. Officers will complete walk-throughs to make sure all security procedures are being followed.
For further updates, Ricci said residents can sign up for the city’s RAVE mobile safety alerts online. Tips to stay safe during extreme heat can be found on the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website.
“It’s just an option we are providing,” he said. “I know some other communities are doing it as well.”
Revere will host its own cooling center at the Revere Senior Center, 25 Winthrop Ave., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. It will be staffed by city volunteers.