WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Firefighters work 365 days a year even in the summer months. It’s their commitment to the community to keep everyone safe while keeping an eye on their health in extremely hot weather.
Battalion Chief Joe Ramsey said they keep an eye on the weather to stay one step ahead of hot days.
Firefighters follow a hydration chart that must be met the day before dangerous temperatures.
“We start hydrating the night before with water and fluids keeping the electrolytes”, said Ramsey.
FOX8 watched a Demonstration of how it is for firefighters to wear their full gear in 90° weather.
“Your mind is trained to ignore that part and focus on the mission, “said Winston Salem Station 2 Firefighter Alex Casuso.
Before the demonstration, Casuso’s temperature was a normal 98.5°.
Once he got fully dressed in his fire gear, he walked around the station for five minutes after the walk, his temperature was remeasured and jumped over 15°.
After the demonstration, Casuso’s pulse started to race and he sweated profusely after just walking for five minutes. His temperature read 105° after the demonstration.
“Image when you do this hard labor work, dragging a hose, pulling a ceiling, so, under a lot of heat on your body,” said Casuso.
Battalion Chief Ramsey said structure fires can go from 300° to 1000° added with the heat, which could cause heat stress for firefighters.
During the summer firefighters rotate shifts during a fire every 15 minutes to rest and get away from the heat.
Ramsey said they are in hot temperatures from the time they get in the fire truck until the time they get back from a fire, but it’s worth it to save and help the community.
“We’re here for the community, and we’re putting our lives on the line in response and on scene to take care of the community,” said Ramsey.