By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging is offering help and advice for those having trouble coping with the excessive heat.

About 25 staff members were standing by when the PCA Heatline opened at noon Thursday. The phones began ringing almost immediately.

Cian Picinich says some people simply want tips on how to stay cool:

“I’ll typically tell them to drink water. If they don’t have air conditioning what I’ll do is give them our Senior Center listings.”

There are also those calls from people in various stages of distress. PCA Supervisor Department of Health nurses handle those cases:

“And they’ll determine whether it’s a heat-related issue. They may send a mobile unit from the Department of Health on them or in some cases we have to call 9-1-1 if it seems like an actual emergency.”

The Heatline — 215-765-9040 — will be available until midnight as long as the excessive heat warning is in effect.