With the summer heat picking up, firefighters in Lafayette Parish are taking extra precautions. Firefighters across the state are battling intense heat on two different fronts. Firefighters in Acadiana say they are staying safe and cool during this heat wave.
"They try to hydrate the best they can. We even tell our guys when they’re off duty. If they are off or if they are work and doing personal things, just hydrate. You need to hydrate because at any time we can get the call to respond to a fire," said Scott Assistant Fire Chief, Richard Devlin.
Firefighters are called out with just moments notice. With Louisiana being hot and humid they say it is crucial to take care of themselves.
"It kind of restricts what we can do because everyone gets tired a lot quicker. You’re looking at 50 extra pounds, up to 100 extra pounds when you start putting on air packs. So in the middle of the summer with the heat advisory and when the heat index hitting 110, it’s like putting on something you wear on the coldest day in Louisiana," Devlin said.
Firefighters use several ice chests to stay hydrated with both Gatorade and water. An ambulance is always on standby and there is also an air-conditioned unit where they’re able to rest and replenish. They say the biggest relief is being able to take off the heavy equipment immediately.