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Firefighters struggle with heat, humidity in summer

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Updated: 6/18 6:21 pm
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - Fire crews said heat and humidity is just as dangerous as the flames they were battling Wednesday.

Richard Burke, a volunteer firefighter, says on hot and humid days, the combination of heavy equipment, heat, and flames, makes heat exhaustion a real concern.

 "Your heat index rises and of course that means it feels like it’s a lot hotter than you actually are and it's wearing, it's exhausting,” said Burke.
The Malta Ridge Fire Chief George Downs says his team makes sure to rotate out of the heat every ten minutes in the summer time, and Wednesday Ballston Spa fire was no exception.

"That's why we have as many trucks as we do out here as we do, not that we need all of the trucks, but we need the man power on that,” said Downs.

Burke says that not only did he come out of the flames multiple times to beat the heat, but his team takes his vital signs to ensure no harm will come to him or other volunteers. 

"We're pretty good at policing our own--hydrated and cool and rehabbed when possible," explained Burke.

Thirty men are on hand during the summertime, to make sure the fire gets contained, with no harm to first responders. 

"It's tough but you look around at what you got and do the best you can with what you got and call for help when you need it,” said Burke.

The firefighters say the fire in this department was the equivalent of a pizza oven. 

The owner of the home told NEWS10 ABC that he was on his way home from a funeral when he learned his home was on fire. 

No one was home when the blaze broke out.
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