Heat exhaustion is a concern for firefighters during the hot weather

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:40 AM CDT
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Firefighters are taking extra precautions during the hot weather. Springfield Fire Chief of Operations Eric Latimer said fires don’t care if it is negative 10 degrees or 95 degrees, their job is to respond to any emergency.

Latimer said the department is trained to monitor heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke. He said EMS is always on scene to help if a firefighter is showing symptoms of one of those three.

”When you get into really heat related emergencies, your core temperature can get 100 to 104 degrees,” said Latimer. “That causes us concern that is probably going to send you to the hospital. So that is why we have to rotate personnel out quick to let them do their task, get them outside, have their coats and their pants off. Let them cool down and hydrate them. Because we want to keep them from going to the hospital. We want to keep them safe and keep them from eventually having a heatstroke.”

He said their gear adds an additional 50 pounds. They wear an insulated coat, pants, hood and a helmet which protects them from the fire. It doesn’t allow their body to release any heat.

Springfield firefighters are encouraged to drink water throughout the day to keep them hydrated when they’re called to an emergency.

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