TULSA, Okla. — Triple-digit heat makes battling fires even more dangerous for Tulsa fire crews — Andrew Little with Tulsa Fire said it's crucial their crews take the proper precautions to be ready and safe when responding to fires.
Little said on days like Friday when Tulsa hit 100 degrees for the first time in 2022 the heat can pose a serious risk.
“While that gear is very efficient on keeping us on safe from fire, it allows us to go deep into fires where we normally would not be able to do, it also traps in that body heat,” Little said.
That's why Little said they rotate crews and have them remove some of the protective clothing to begin the cooling-off process.
“If we can find an area that’s shaded, we can have them get in that shaded area and then start that rehydration and rest period," Little said.
He said their crews also do their best to plan ahead.
“That means drinking water the day before your shift, hydrating, make sure you’re coming in already hydrated,” Little said.
When responding to emergencies, they also send a rehab van, which is equipped with all of the essentials to provide them relief from the heat.
“Sports drinks, water, we carry buckets that they can put their arms and legs in if they get overheated and we have a portable fan that runs off a generator that we take to these fires,” Little said.
“All these people that work outside, they don’t have a choice, they have to work in the heat. So, it’s just about taking precautions, and trying to be as safe as we can."
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