Firefighters take extra care battling flames in hot weather - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Firefighters take extra care battling flames in hot weather

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis Fire Department took extra precautions against the heat Saturday afternoon when firefighters responded to a major blaze at a pallet company at 1020 Hollywood.   

Using 9 units and 56 firefighters, they brought the fire under control 20 minutes after the call came in.

With the Mid-South heat index in the 100s, those who battle blazes are at high risk for heat-related injuries.

MFD Medical Battalion Chief Daniel Wakefield says staying hydrated is top priority.

"One of the most important things is to make sure they stay hydrated. We get them in the shade, get them in a cooling environment - that way we can keep their core temperature down," he said.

Wakefield said firefighters also use ariated chairs, which allow them to place ice packs underneath their arms to help them cool down more quickly.

And Battalion Chief Chip Sneed says firefighters rotate every 10 to 15 minutes.

"They've got a tent set up with misting fans, and EMS will do their vital signs check. And they have a criteria they have to meet before we can let them go back ito the fire scene," he said.
Sneed says that there were no serious injuries related to Saturday's fire or the heat, but three men were given IV injections as a precaution.


Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly