As the Central Valley heats up, a team of volunteers is helping firefighters stay cool in the field

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FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Fresno Fire crews continue investigating the cause of a four-alarm blaze that destroyed two homes in the Tower District Thursday morning.  

“We had 45 firefighters,” said Battalion Chief Tim Fulmer. “So we had well over half of the city firefighters on scene at this fire.” 

Both homes were a total loss and one firefighter was injured. It’s incidents like this that require a hand from the department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  

“We go on extended incident fires, particularly those that are over 80 degrees,” said CERT coordinator Carla Glazebrook.

The group of volunteers watch out for firefighters in the heat by providing cooling stations.  

“The intent of them being here is to lower their heart rate, lower their temperature,” said Glazebrook.  

They also help in preventing cancer and exposure to toxins while in the field.  

“We make sure they’re decontaminated, so they get wiped down before they come into the cooling area, and then they have a period of rest and hydration.”

CERT was founded in 2003, and in 2005 the team received a donated ambulance – allowing them to assist Fresno Fire crews.

“Since our program was founded, we’ve been deployed with the fire department 178 times,” said Glazebrook.

Volunteers are on call, and Glazebrook says it’s a privilege to serve alongside these firefighters.  

“I have the most outstanding team of volunteers. We have extraordinary support from Fresno Fire. I would say we’re one of the busiest rehab teams in the United States.”  

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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