Firefighters battle blazing Texoma heat - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Firefighters battle blazing Texoma heat

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Firefighters make special preparations to deal with oppressive heat. (KTEN) Firefighters make special preparations to deal with oppressive heat. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- No one likes to be outside in this heat unless you’re by a lake or a pool.

But firefighters must work in the heat every day.

"The preparation really goes on constantly during this time of year," said Sherman Fire Department Assistant Chief Chris Olson. "You have to stay hydrated, even when you’re not on duty. If you wait until you get here in the morning to start, then it’s too late."

When firefighters get the call for action, they have to quickly suit up in about 80 pounds of gear.

"It’s very easy to become overwhelmed very fast. Our gear is made to not let heat in... which, in turn, it doesn’t let heat out,” said Olson.

Our location on the map just makes things worse.

"This area being near the lake, we have a high humidity level, so that puts you at a greater risk for dehydration, which will impair your circulation and decrease your body’s ability to dissipate heat on the skin," explained Alex Roby, Red River ER medical director.

Firefighters say they have to work as a team, especially this time of year.

"We just have to adjust the workload the best we can," Olson said. "Sometimes ... we call in extra people if we need to, or call for more mutual aid."

He said there are safety officers on scene during any major incident.

"Yes, our egos can get in the way sometimes, and we’ll push ourselves too far, so we’re all looking out for each other," Olson said.

He added that firefighters appreciate the help they get from the community, especially the Salvation Army and Red Cross canteens that provide cold drinks and snacks.

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