Firefighters warn of excessive heat dangers

Firefighters heat
Firefighters heat
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Updated: 7/07/2013 11:07 am

TROY, N.Y. - Troy Fire Department firefighters say heat-related calls are on the rise and are asking residents to be aware of signs that you could be in danger.

Assistant Fire Chief James Hughs also expressed concern for his own crews that have been battling flames during recent heat waves.

"I was very concerned over my guys because our gear, even though it's designed to breathe, it doesn't breathe that we'll,"Chief Hughs said. "It's designed to keep the heat off us but it keeps our body heat in."

Not being able to cool down with full fire gear on can be extremely dangerous for firefighters working in high heat outside, but unlike many people, most firefighters know the signs of heat-related illness.

Chief Hughs says the elderly and young children are at a higher risk for suffering from heat exhaustion, but that doesn't mean they are the only people who are not fully aware of the symptoms. Hughs says it ranges from profuse sweating to feeling extremely tired and thirsty.

Residents who have access to pools tried to cool down Saturday, which can be crucial. Staying hydrated is another key to staying safe. Hughs says when responding to a call for someone with heat exhaustion, timing is everything. If someone can't cool down, heat stroke can set it next.

"That is when you've stopped sweating," Hughs said. "You're body's not getting rid of the heat. You can actually be red, feel very warm and that's a true emergency we need to get you cooled down very quickly or you can actually cook your brain." 

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