How firefighters beat the heat

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT)   --  Heat is something firefighters can't avoid,  so Jonesboro Fire Department Training Officer Ty Damron, says they do their best to make sure the stifling heat  doesn't overwhelm the firefighters while they work.

"We need to make sure we're drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated--making sure we watch ourself on the fire scene and not working too long,"said Damron.

While fighting a fire, Damron says they try to rotate firefighters about every ten minutes.  He says they also have mist fans and can set up canopies for a cool place to cool down--all the while being weighed down with nearly 80 pounds of equipment.

"If you could imagine putting a hunting parka on or something and wearing it out at work.   It's actually a little bit hotter than that," said Damron.

Like Jonesboro, in Paragould, Fire Chief Kevin Lang, says keeping plenty of water iced down is the main thing they do to battle the heat and help prevent heat exhaustion.

"You're not exempt from it.   Let me tell you it can happen to the toughest guy around," said Lang.

Lang says frequent breaks, lots of water, even cool towels can help beat the heat.

"The ambulance crews, especially this time of year, if they hear us paged to a structure fire they're going to respond in an ambulance.   They're there to help us if one of the guys gets overheated," said Lang.

While the summer sun and raging fire can be a dangerous combination, it can also be just another day at the office for firefighters.

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