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Fire Fighters Deal with Extreme Heat
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- Ripping off his headgear and oxygen mask, Captain Craig Dirks searches for relief.
"We're in a fire on top of the heat outside," Dirks said.
As firefighters put out a blaze Tuesday on Maplewood Drive, paramedics watched closely looking for any signs of heat stroke and checking vital signs.
"We check their blood pressure, their pulse rate, their respirations," said paramedic Jayson Wagner.
In extreme heat and underneath 60 pounds of gear, putting out a fire can be almost as dangerous as the fire itself.
"A couple of them were dizzy, Wagner said. Some of them had higher blood pressure. They kind of had to take themselves out."
On a day where temperatures are near 100 degrees, the double insulation of their gear makes the temperature feel even higher.
"It's like wearing a very large winter coat so out in this heat, it really adds to the problem," Dirks said.
To avoid overheating, firefighters take turns "rehabbing"-- getting water, fresh air, and keeping an eye on whoever is standing next to him.
"We make sure that we watch out for each other," Dirks said.