“They know it’s hot and they come to do their job,” Austin Fire Battalion Chief Justin Talentino said. “Whatever the weather is and they just have to power through it.”
Still, he said it’s become common to shift incidents to a second alarm of severity, which pulls more firefighters to active scenes, therefore reducing firefighters’ time out in the heat.
“We’re trying to hydrate early and often,” Talentino said. “Just make sure to rotate our folks in and out.”
But just think, if you’re hot in your tank top and flip flops right now, firefighters out at blazes who are throwing on an extra 80 pounds of gear have to be unbearably hot. We tried on the gear Saturday, it’s not pleasant.
It’s a problem firefighters across the state are having. To assist with increased wildfire activity across Texas, the Texas A&M Forest Service is opening an Austin Airtanker Base at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Austin Fire Lieutenant Michael Padilla says it’s something fire crews are conscious about, serious consequences could arise if firefighters don’t take care of themselves.
“We don’t want anyone suffering from heat stress or heat stroke,” he said.
“Before the call, after the call, when you’re off a shift, stay hydrated because it’ll hit you quickly.”