Heat wave impacting firefighters, FOX 46 along for the ride

- Firefighters put their lives on the line every day, but the risk during heat waves increases.  Outside the Huntersville Fire Department around noon Thursday the temperature already hit 90 degrees.

Inside the fire house, firefighters were standing by, ready to put on about 60 pounds of gear at a moments notice. Their jackets and pants are quilted to protect from 300 to 1,000 degrees heat during a fire.

None of that equipment can be taken off just because it's hot outside. Firefighters are still always ready to roll, even when temperatures rise.

"I don't think you'll ever find a firefighter that who wouldn't dress out to go help someone," said Bill Suthard, from the Huntersville Fire Department.

On scene, firefighters are hustling, grabbing equipment like ladders or the jaws of life. Heat exhaustion can happen in an instant.

"We keep a good eye on each other to see if someone is starting to look like a heat related illness," said Suthard.

So far during this heat wave the watchful eyes of other firefighters appears to be working. No Huntersville firefighters have suffered any heat related illness.

"We've got crews who have felt heat needed to take a break a lot more frequently than normal. We haven't had an transports. They do a good job keeping an eye on themselves," said Suthard.

MEDIC will join fire crews on scene to make check firefighters vital signs and make sure they have plenty of cold fluids.

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