Heat Wave: First responders battle heat

FRESNO, Calif. - The summer months are never easy for first responders especially firefighters. With constant emergency calls in 107 degree heat plus 75 pounds of gear Fresno fire fighters said summer heat takes a toll on their bodies.

"A firefighter with his gear on you can add it roughly ads 20-25 degrees to the ambient temperature. So if it's 109 or 110 today you're looking at 135 degrees," said Fresno Fire Department Public Information Officer Hector Vasquez.

"Add 200, 300, 500 degrees outside of a burning building you can imagine how warm your core temperature will be," said Fresno Fire Department Fire Fighter Justin Aragon.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Brian Price said there's no way for firefighters to escape the heat.

"The heat comes with the territory regardless of the heat, the job, or the amount of work we have to do. The job stays the same," he said.

When they respond to calls in over 95 degree temperatures they used a heat stress protocol adding more fire engines and resources from different stations to each emergency call to help protect against heat related injuries.

"Just so we can cycle bodies through because your work to rest ratios shrink up so much in this high heat weather. it's your core temperature ..that's where we're seeing the detriment. The core temp and any exposure to products of combustion can be a deadly combo for firefighters," said Price.
 


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