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Extreme heat causing concern for firefighters & their gear

With extreme heat hitting the area, firefighters are being forced to only battle flames but also the outdoor warmth affecting their performance in their equipment.

ROGERS, Ark. — No matter the temperature outside, this is the everyday reality of fight fighters, working to save lives and keep people safe. 

The rogers fire department is taking the high temperatures more seriously by working to keep firefighters cool when they’re not working.  

“In Rogers, we call greater alarms quicker during excessive heat or cold temperatures just to make sure we have extra people there to rotate in out with these crews to be sure they’re not exposed to that heat or any elements too long,” said Dusty Meredith  

While it’s not only hot outside, temperatures inside a burning building can reach up to 1,000 degrees. 

"You got to get those clothes off of them because they’re just wrapped up in those turnout gears…it’s holding all that stuff in there, so we got to get them cooled off and get them rehydrated because they dehydrate really quickly,” said Meredith.  

The gear that firefighters wear is about 60-75 pounds and It consists of a helmet, hood, pants, boots, coat, gloves, and an oxygen tank. It’s made from several levels of special fabric to guard against the heat and flames.  

"It’s designed to keep heat out, but it also keeps it in too…so you know you just feel like you’re baking in that gear,” said Schuyler Brennan  

Firefighters can spend hours on a scene putting out a fire. that’s why firefighter paramedic Shuyler Brennan says recovery for them is very important. 

“my crew went in and searched the structure and started pulling some celling and we came out pretty quick and got our bottles changed and went to rehab….  and just try to stay hydrated,” said Brennan  

Whether it’s below freezing or 100 degrees, the weather can’t stop firefighters from putting their lives on the line for their community. 

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