Keeping cool: Fighting fires in the blazing sun

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Fighting fire in fiery temperatures is what firemen do, but with a team behind them they manage to keep their cool and remain safe in the hottest of situations.

On Thursday, at a Daniel Island home that was heavily engulfed, it was Berkeley County EMS with a medivac unit and North Charleston Fire Department with its rehab center.

"These firefighters are out here in heavy bunker gear with their air packs, their face masks, their faces are enclosed," says Captain Marco Simard with Berkeley County EMS. "Their body is just perspiring and sweating a lot and losing a lot of fluids."

"We'll check their overall condition, if they're acting right, if they're not too over tired, explains Deputy Chief Steve Goodwin with the Cainhoy Fire Department. "We'll check their vital signs; make sure their pulse and blood pressure are good."

Paramedics say on days where temperatures are pushing 90 degrees, they check vitals every 20 minutes and keep them hydrated with water and sports drinks.

"We'll ask them how they're feeling. Are they cramping up? Are they feeling lightheaded, dizzy, nauseated?"

They say crews are also rotated every 15 minutes.

"These guys, they come out of these hot zones fighting fire and everything, they look like they're real dizzy. We want to get them aside real quick, get them out of their bunker gear, and cool them down."