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Odessa Fire Rescue working to keep firefighters hydrated during summer heat

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:41 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Firefighters deal with a number of dangers on the job: Fires, building collapses, and more. One invisible threat isn’t on the top of most peoples’ minds, but it’s just as dangerous.

Dehydration.

On Thursday, two firefighters with Odessa Fire Rescue were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.

“Being in a structure fire like that for 15 minutes can dehydrate you real quickly. Heavy heat takes a toll on your body,” said Captain Marc Brown with OFR.

As firefighters work quickly in high temperatures in the summer, they have to look for signs of dehydration.

“As a team, we go in two in two out to everything we do, so a lot of times it’s not just you that’s watching out for you, it’s your partner. So when other people see the signs of the confusion, the tiredness, the not being able to think straight somebody else, your brother has got your back,” said Brown.

Brown says battling several fires a day in extreme heat adds difficulty to the job.

Firefighters heading into fires wear 100-pound bunker gear. The temperature inside the uniform can reach up to 800 degrees.

Brown says it’s important for firefighters to find a way to cool down when things heat up.

“Each engine has an ice chest full of water. We try to, after every call, make sure we’re staying hydrated. Especially on the structure fires. Dealing with it in normal situations,” said Brown.

Most of OFR’s water supply is donated by the community. Donations of water are always accepted at OFR’s Central Station at 1100 West 2nd Street.

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