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Tallahassee firefighters prepare to fight blazes in 100-degree heat

The Tallahassee Fire Department is training new recruits this week, preparing them to fight fires in 100-degree weather.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Imagine stepping out into triple-digit heat, putting on 50 pounds worth of gear and then entering a burning building.

That’s the reality for Tallahassee firefighters right now, as they work to fight blazes in this extreme heat.

“Very sweaty,” said Tallahassee Fire Department Lieutenant Brittany McNabb about working in the heat.

TFD is training new recruits this week, preparing them to fight fires in 100-degree weather.

“When the temperatures get this high, we really have to be careful,” TFD Deputy Chief Richard Jones said. “We have to take frequent breaks, we have to hydrate.”

Firefighter gear is heavy and hot, but Jones said it’s needed to protect against temperatures inside a burning building that can reach quadruple digits.

“When we go to structure fire calls, they have all their gear, all their equipment,” Jones said. “The temperatures could get over 1,000 degrees.”

TFD takes extra precautions every summer, bringing multiple crews to a scene, so that firefighters can rotate in and out, and take breaks in between.

“The worst thing that could happen would be you pass out or cramp up in a fire and then you end up needing rescuing,” McNabb said.

On particularly hot days, TFD also brings in Leon County Emergency Medical Services to check firefighters’ vital signs and to spot signs of heat exhaustion before it reaches dangerous levels.

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