Odessa Fire Rescue prepared for extreme heat

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 broadcast.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -An Odessa Fire Rescue Firefighter was injured while out on the field yesterday. With triple digits expected throughout the week these firefighters are more hydrated than other days.

These firefighters stay calm and hydrated throughout the day in case they have to put out a fire.

Things like Gatorade, Powerade, Electrolit is what they drink on these days.

Some firefighters have become accustomed to this heat throughout the years.

“The more experience we have, the more we learn to pace ourselves. We keep up with our fluid intake, and then on the fire ground itself, we’re a lot more calm. So that does kind of help with pacing ourselves in general.” said Jaylen Acosta, firefighter at Odessa Fire Rescue.

Acosta said that one of the reasons that makes him get up and go to work, is saving peoples properties and lives.

However, even with drinking plenty of fluids, the gear these firefighters wear is both heavy and increases their body heat.

This gear adds another 20 to 25 pounds and can increase the heat from 100 degrees to 125 easily.

Acosta’s been here for years, but other firefighters still need time to get use to the heavy workload they do.

“So being a new recruit here, it is stressing at times because you don’t really know the job too well and all this stuff is pretty new to you. But everybody here is really helpful,” said Freddie Hurtado, a firefighter/EMT for Odessa Fire Rescue.

With yesterday’s incident that involved a firefighter getting minor burns, part of their protocol is to make sure they get checked up on wounds that could get infected.

“Given the circumstances in the extreme heat, we do try to send them so if needed, they can be replenished with fluids as well.” said Acosta.

He also says the firefighter that was injured yesterday will recover fully and be back to work soon.

Even with all the gear they have to protect themselves from a fire, they still can be injured by things like heat exhaustion.

Sometimes these firefighters don’t have as much space or time to do that. Which is why they take their training and health seriously.