Firefighters battle fire, heat during the hot summer

With the excessive heat the Valley is enduring, it can be hard to be outside in the heat.

Try to, however, imagine battling a fire.

While some can escape the heat, firefighters often cannot. Besides battling fires, they also have to carry 75lbs  of gear on their backs, and then stepping outside to fight a fire.

That's what Valley firefighters have to do, throughout the summer.

"In the summertime, we try to hydrate during the day, on certain days when we have Excessive Heat Advisories, so we stay indoors a lot and try to hydrate and stay cool throughout the day," said John Krajnak, a captain with the Rural Metro Fire Department.

Earlier on Friday, Rural Metro firefighters were responding to a fire at a triplex. As they fought the flames, Cpt. Krajnak was keeping an eye on crews and rotating them out for breaks. During the breaks, firefighters are monitored.

"They check your blood pressure, your heart rate, and they monitor that and check you as soon as you get in rehab and don't let you go until your vital signs are down to a normal limit and you can start working again," said Kragnak.

With the hot weather, firefighter turnouts plus the heat from the fire, Krajnak says they also go through their air bottles much faster.

"Our bottles are rated for 45 minures," said Krajnak. "We probably get anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes of work from those bottles. Once we're done working, we get some water and sit and cool off."

During winter months about three engines would respond to the fire, but with the heat, nine engines responded.

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