Heat becomes even more dangerous for firefighters - WNEM TV 5

Heat becomes even more dangerous for firefighters

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Firefighting is a dangerous job but it becomes even more dangerous when the mercury rises.

Once they are fully dressed, the heat index increases 10-20 degrees - meaning if it's close to 100 degrees out, inside the gear it can feel like 120-130 degrees.

There are three layers inside the gear - pants, jacket, hood, helmet and oxygen tanks. That's an added 50 pounds to the firefighter’s body.

Think about it, that's 50 extra pounds of work that their body is doing with every step.

Firefighter's have to take extra safety precautions to keep from heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

“It all starts off in the morning just like we check our breathing apparatus and our fire trucks and the rest of our equipment. Make sure the coolers full. Iced down water bottles. So just as long as we're preparing our equipment we're preparing ourselves too,” said Lt. James Fourman with the Saginaw City Fire Department.

Water breaks are crucial for firefighters and should be taken every hour.

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