Firefighters battle flames, South Georgia heat

Firefighters battle flames and South Georgia heat./ Credit: Alexandria Ikomoni

It feels like the dog days of summer are already here, so how do firefighters stay safe while working in the South Georgia heat?

Some firefighters were on the clock on Monday, but something was different. They were wearing shorts.

"We're doing an exercise and testing hose,” Jeremy Bullington, Albany Fire Department, said.

Even without the full gear on, they were drenched with sweat from being outside in the heat. Imagine what it would be like wearing the full gear while fighting flames.

"It's extreme,” Bullington said. “It doesn't take long at all. In a matter of minutes, your body is covered in sweat. Your body is throbbing."

Albany Fire Lieutenant Eric Graham said the firefighters have worked in more than 100-degree weather, and the easiest way to say it, it's hot!

"The conditions get really bad out here in the sun having to do different things,” Graham said.

Graham said they make sure to not keep any firefighter inside for too long. The timing depends on the situation.

"We break them as soon as we can,” he said. “We keep crews ready to go in, swap them out and get them into rehab."

The key to surviving these hot temps is to stay hydrated. That's why they have an air supply truck follow them on every emergency.

"It's equipped with water,” Graham said. “We have a cooler full of ice water on there to keep our guys hydrated.”

Graham adds if necessary, they will call back up trucks to relieve the firefighters that's working.

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