Volunteer group helps first responders deal with extreme heat

Special precautions are made to help firefighters battle the hot weather, as well as fires.

Justin Udo
July 04, 2018 - 6:19 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The oppressive heat can be a challenge for just about anyone, but for firefighters it could mean the difference between life and death.

Special precautions are made to help firefighters battle the hot weather, as well as fires.

When fighting a blaze, firefighters can carry up to 70 pounds of equipment and gear. So when you mix in hot weather, things can get more dangerous than they normally would be.

"They're expending a lot of body fluid, more than any other person would be because of the amount of strenuous work they're doing inside of a fire," said Gregory Masi, Chief of the Philadelphia 2nd Alarmers Association, a volunteer organization that provides rest and rehab to Philadelphia firefighters and police.

Masi says they've developed a special drink to help firefighters recover when they lose a lot of fluids while fighting a fire.

"Firefighters call it bug juice, some call it green champagne," he said. "What it really is is a lime extract with electrolytes in it."

Chief Masi says they also give the firefighters cold towels to help bring their body temperatures down.

"We actually set up our misting fans, which is a fan that expends cool sprays.," he explained. "That's cool water, and we'll have the firefighters rotate through that." 

Chief Masi adds that in addition to post fire care, they encourage firefighters, like everyone else, to stay hydrated.