Firemen fighting heat exhaustion - CBS46 News

Firemen fighting heat exhaustion

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

At Union City Fire House Number 3, this time of year they not only battle blazes, but that intense southern sunshine.

Whenever these firemen head out on a call, it always requires full gear, which includes heavy masks, fireproof gloves, thick rubber boots and giant overcoats. That gear can weigh as much as 50 pounds and cause the heat inside the suit to climb up to 140 degrees. That high temperature means fire officials are worried about overworking fire crews since heat exhaustion can set in so quickly.

Depending on what kind of scene or incident the firemen operate at, they may have what are called "rehab stations" set up. That is where the firefighters go to take breaks, dress down and get the gear off and cool down.

At Firehouse 3, they said that the best way to prepare to battle this Atlanta summer heat is physical training, sometimes up to six months in advance. They also spend a good bit of time hydrating, with water, about 12-24 hours before their shift begins so their muscles can hold up under sweltering conditions.

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