Fire crews battling heat from sun, flames as Birmingham experiences summer heat wave

Local News

(CBS 42)

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Fire and Rescue crews are among the dozens of community servants who help keep us safe, but this time of year, they have to worry about more than just the heat of the flames as temperatures rise across Alabama.

“It’s incumbent upon us to plan and prepare us for those situations, and it’s no different with the heat. We plan, we train and we prepare so that we can respond even in those extreme conditions” Battalion Chief Sebastian Carillo told CBS 42 Digital Reporter Landon Wexler.

Carillo serves as Incident Commander and PIO for Birmingham Fire and Rescue, and he says that crews take special precautions when fighting fires in extreme heat.

“If we were to have  a structure fire today,” remarked Carillo, “we (would) limit the amount of time that firefighters are actually in the structure before we bring them back out to rehabilitation unit where we check their vital signs and give them a cooling period before we sent them in to do another round of work.”

According to Bryan Combs, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor at UAB, Carillo is taking all the right precautions by.

“The most important thing is that you’re are staying hydrated and continuously drinking. Then just watching for the signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration (and) things of that nature.”

Carillos says that citizens can help simply by being extra safe.

“We always say that prevention is the best course of action for us,” Carillo explained. “So if we can prevent an emergency from happening, it prevents our personnel from having to get out and respond in these extreme conditions.”

The CBS 42 storm team is predicting high temperatures Friday and Saturday, and Combs gave us a tip: if there’s ever a time when you stop sweating while being active, it’s time to stop what you’re doing, cool of and re-hydrate.

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