Heat rising: Firefighters keep cool during summer blazes - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Heat rising: Firefighters keep cool during summer blazes

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Firefighters battle flames on a regular basis, but when they're doing it during the sultry state of late summer in Shreveport, major concerns of heat-related illness often flare up.

During temperatures like what the ArkLaTex has seen recently, with highs nearly cracking 100 degrees, we start sweating just walking from the door to the car. But fire crews do that wearing a full suit that is designed to make sure they don't get burned.

"Our safety equipment is bunker pants with boots, a coat, gloves, a hood, a helmet, a mask, and a tank," said Damon Johnson. "It weighs approximately 60-70 pounds when we get fully geared up. So once we start exerting ourselves, we can generate a lot of heat."

Now take that in this heat, and put them inside of a burning building.

"When it's in the triple digits and we're inside of a 200-300 degree burning house, you hold that heat in your gear," Johnson said.

Firefighters are trained to pre-hydrate, and continuously stay hydrated throughout their daily duties in hopes of preventing heat-related injuries. They are constantly monitored by paramedics while on fires checking for any symptoms of heat illness.

So while their mission is to protect the public, they also have to look out for each other.

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