Valley firefighters fight heat with special protocol - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley firefighters fight heat with special protocol

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Valley firefighters have special protocol to follow in extreme heat. (FOX5) Valley firefighters have special protocol to follow in extreme heat. (FOX5)

Meteorologists have been cautioning people to stay indoors during days of heat, but first responders don't have that choice.

Firefighters battled flames at Sportsman's Royal Manor off Boulder Highway Wednesday. It started around 9:40 a.m. in a truck full of roofing supplies parked behind one of the apartment buildings.

It quickly spread to four different units, but a total of 25 units had to be evacuated. Two people were sent to hospitals with smoke inhalation and second-degree burns. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Red Cross assisted 40 people.

“The tenants came by, banging on the doors telling us get out get out. At first I didn't know what was going on, and then I seen the cloud of smoke coming out the top of the roof. Then I immediately gathered up everything I could grab and then I ran out just as the fire was catching in the second tier,” Mark Staple, whose apartment was burned said. “It's very upsetting cause it's hot out here, we’re in the heat, now we got maybe two to three hours before we get another room. Nobody's coming out to try and bring us water.

The tenants aren’t the only ones dealing with the heat.

“The biggest thing when it gets over 110 degrees for us is that you focus on the rehab cycles,” Clark County Fire’s Deputy Chief Roy Session said.

Between adrenaline and already working in hot conditions, firefighters do not always realize what condition they are in.

“We have a rehab policy that they have to make sure to get their vitals checked and get their gear off as fast as they can. So we just rotate crews a lot quicker when it's this hot outside,” Session said.

On a normal day, they rotate firefighters out every 45 minutes, he said. On days hotter than 110 degrees, they bring that down to every 30 minutes. They also bring a mobile rehab unit for relief.

“Cold towels, Gatorade, water, if it's super-hot we'll get tents and chairs for them to sit down and under while we're checking their vitals making sure everything’s okay with them,” Session said.

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