TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The extreme heat is taking a toll on many across Alabama, including first responders.

Fire Captain Bryant Thompson says when the temperature reaches nearly 100 degrees, he makes sure his firefighters stay safe.

“On our downtime, we try to stay hydrated, and the biggest thing is preventative maintenance,” Thompson said. “Our thing we do on our two days off is hydrate so when we are here and working in the heat, it’s not quite as bad.”

Captain Thompson works at Fire Station One with the Tuscaloosa Fire Department. He says firefighters’ gear, including the air pack, adds 70 pounds to the crew members fighting fires.

Assistant Chief Keith Carpenter with Northport Police Department says he too is making sure his officers are hydrating and being cautious in the hot weather.

“There is no real way to keep your people cool when they have to be out and about in this hot weather but what try to do is stress to them to stay hydrated and drink often and we rotate out people,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter says that body armor worn by his officers adds an extra 15 pounds.

There are 13 firefighters at Fire Station One, who work in three shifts. On average, Engine Five responds to six emergency calls every day.