WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) - We are always trying to figure out how to stay cool during the summer. That’s easier said than done for first responders, road workers, even postal carriers. Staying cool while we work can be taken for granted. However, many work in conditions that are less than ideal during the hot summer. From patrolling the streets, to fixing the streets, and rushing to your aid, our public safety and public works are in the heat for you.
Firefighters for example put on roughly 80 pounds of turnout gear when responding to a fire alarm. That turnout gear includes, a helmet, A Nomex hood, leather or rubber bunker boots, vapor and heat barrier pants, turnout coats, 4-layer leather fire resistant gloves, and an S-C-B-A which weighs 40 pounds including a face piece.
Storm Team 10's David Siple geared up in full Firefighter uniform, and discussed how the heat can effect them. He was able to do a few drills including pulling a fire rescue mannequin, climb a ladder, water the grass and parking lot, and did a few jumping jacks for good measure.
Thermal images were taken before Siple did the drills and took one after he completed them. Beforehand without the gear, his body was fairly gray on the thermal image which meant his body temperature was not giving off much heat.
After the drills in full gear, the thermal image can clearly see a more white color on his chest indicating much higher temperatures than before.
Add in a burning house, which reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees inside, to the summertime heat, and firefighters can easily be overcome by heat exhaustion and become dehydrated.
Heat exhaustion can occur with any outdoor work environment. This includes all of our postal workers, lineman, and public safety to name a few. Road workers have specific guidelines to keep an eye out for each other and to always be sure to stay hydrated.
So how can you help our outdoor workers? Donating water bottles to fire and police stations, work crews, and even leaving a cooler with bottled water on your porch for your postal worker can go a long way. Help show your support by keeping them hydrated and cooled off during these hot summer months.