Firefighters take precautions to deal with scorching heat, humidity

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The scorching temperatures take a heavy toll on anyone working outside, and first responders have some safeguards to help deal with the brutally hot temperatures.

Firefighters have to answer calls for emergencies in extreme temperatures. They take a lot of precautions when the mercury rises above 100.

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Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker said firefighters only suit up in turnout gear and head outside only when absolutely necessary.

When they do, firefighters take bottles of water and Gatorade, they also work in short shifts, rotating out about every 15 minutes while on a scene, especially if they will be on the call for a long time.

“We will call for EMS to get on the scene a little quicker. For our guys, we monitor their body temperature, blood pressure, just to make sure, a general overall visual assessment, as long as they are not cramping up, and we know they’ve been hydrated, we let them go back in and another rotation in 15 to 30 minutes later,” Chief Walker said.

A firefighter’s turnout gear, including tanks, helmet, masks and protective gear weighs about 60 pounds.

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