How first responders stay cool; Reporter Mayzie Olson tries on firefighter gear on alert day

(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday was the hottest day of the summer so far this year in 2023.

Extremely hot days like this can be more than just uncomfortable for first responders.

Firefighters wear more than 45 lbs of gear every time they are called to an active fire scene.

Firefighters with the Rochester Fire Dept. say they are happy to do it to keep people safe, but it definitely puts them at risk.

They say no matter the season or the weather, they always want to be there to answer any and all calls for help.

“It’s just something when there’s weather like this, that we have to be even more vigilant about it,” said Capt. Brett Knapp. “But, it’s a taxing situation physically and even mentally for firefighters when you have to work in conditions like this right now.”

To combat heat like this, RFD officials ensure that fire crews are being quickly rotated and taking lots of breaks with water in air conditioned spaces.