COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The summer heat is brutal enough here in Ohio, but imagine being a firefighter.
Often, there is no way for them to avoid the triple-digit temperatures.
When hot weather comes around, first responders have to adjust their activities.
Battling fires and responding to emergency calls is not easy when it’s below zero outside, and when it’s hot and humid, it can be even harder.
The firefighters at Station 14 gave NBC 4 a look at what it’s like to a first responder in the extreme heat Friday.
A lot of the firefighters started their Friday at 8 a.m. and have been on multiple runs all day.
Putting on and carrying 75 pounds worth of gear can take a toll on the body in this time of weather. That’s why as much as first responders stress that the public stays hydrated, they must do the same.
“We see a rise in heat-related issues, dehydration is one of them and one thing I can’t stress enough — drink a lot of water, try to stay away from the sports drinks,” said Nick Davis, a firefighter with the Columbus Division of Fire.
Because of the hot and humid temperatures, crews are ordered to take breaks and hydrate, even when on the scene of a call.
A new policy was put in place last year called “First In and First Out,” which gives the first firefighters on the scene to get in and get out relatively quickly as a back-up crew takes over.
Friday morning, while responding to a fire on South High Street, three firefighters were taken to a local hospital for heat-related issues. Those firefighters have been released and are expected to be OK.