How firefighters are handling the heat | KAALTV.com

How firefighters are handling the heat

Mackenzie Davis
Updated: June 10, 2021 05:12 PM
Created: June 10, 2021 04:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Firefighters have to wear heavy protective gear, which can weigh up to 65 pounds, and that's not easy as the temperatures outside reach 100 degrees. 

Mandee Marx, a firefighter with the Rochester Fire Department, says their gear is designed to keep the heat out, but it's like wearing insulation or a big snowmobile suit in the summer.

"Regardless of the heat, we still have to do our job," Marx said.

Either in extreme heat or extreme cold.

"During this extreme heat, the biggest thing we try to do is just try not to do very much physically unless we have to, so that way if a big structure fire happens or something like that or some big incident happens, we're not exhausted," Marx said.

While also drinking lots of fluids and staying out of the heat while they can.

Marx says the way they learn is by working in these harsh weather conditions.

While staying safe, of course, they rotate in and out with backup crews at structure fires to limit the time they are in the sun or fighting a fire.

"Because it is such an intense heat and it's so strenuous on your body, and with all of the extra weight, we have to make sure we can rotate in and out to get the job done," Marx said.

During a structure fire, firefighters will wear their gear.

"The gear is designed to keep fire out but also keeps a lot of heat in. So, we'll go in in shorter shifts if we have a fire, and then we'll come out and immediately take our gear off," Marx said.

Most importantly is to make sure you are staying hydrated, whether you are a firefighter or not. Marx says they have to be conscious of their bodies and to know their own bodies.

"Our partners at the Mayo Clinic ambulance, they're called to all of those incidences, and they also watch us too. Not just for the people in the incident but also for us they will check our vitals and make sure we are okay to go back in," Marx said.

Firefighters have to take care of themselves, so they can take care of you when an emergency happens.


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