Firefighters around the Ozarks battle heat exhaustion while extinguishing fires

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 9:10 PM CDT
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BOIS D’ARC, Mo. (KY3) - With temperatures reaching the 90′s and not a cloud in the sky, most would agree, it is hot outside. Some of us may be able to take a break in the air conditioning.

But not everyone has that luxury, including firefighters who responded to a structure fire near Bois D’Arc Friday afternoon.

“Upon arrival, we were wearing everything. Coats, hats, SCBA [self-contained breathing apparatus],” said firefighter Joesph Titus.

Once they found out that there were no lives at risk, firefighters could remove some gear.

“Being able to take off our gear helps us cool down and not get overheated, and then we sit there and monitor ourselves. Once we get too hot, we’re able to go to rehab and drink some water and check our vital signs and make sure we’re ready to go back in,” said Titus.

Working near a fire, temperatures can rise over 600 degrees. Throw on protective gear, like a hard hat and a jacket, it can feel even hotter.

“When I was here, I was pulling out some metal and I got over-exhausted from the heat and felt myself getting hot. I just took a break and shed some gear, and some guys brought me some water,” said Titus.

EMTs were called in to make sure the firefighters were okay.

”We make sure that everyone takes regular breaks,” said Bois D’Arc Fire Captain Christopher Presley. “Staying hydrated is really important. We have a safety officer that goes around, and if it feels like someone’s been there too long, then they will request another crew to replace them, send them to rehab and get them out of their gear and drink some water.“

”It’s definitely exhausting but I love doing this,” said Titus

Firefighters say that no one was hurt in the fire Friday. A woman who lived in the house and her dog escaped safely.

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