Summer temperatures affecting firefighters in Vernon

Firefighters across Texoma have already had to deal with grass fires, structure fires and now the triple digit temperatures.

Fire crews in Vernon say these factors can take a toll on their work and their health.

The fire department is trying to cope with the heat from the fires and the broiling sun.

Chris Brooks, a Vernon firefighters, says it is important to take the necessary precautions to make sure the hot weather does not affect him.

"You just got to maintain hydration, you have a drink a lot of water when you're off. Stay hydrated," Brooks says.

A task that becomes tougher to maintain when you add 75 pounds of gear.

"The gear is pretty heavy but you sweat a lot in it and it's definitely extra layers, it's probably 3 or 4 extra layers of just heat. It's like putting on a winter coat during summertime," Brooks adds.

Vernon Fire Department training coordinator Adam Scott agrees.

He says the extreme heat will start draining his crew almost immediately.

"As soon as you get the gear on, you're already exhausted and sweaty and then you have to go work. So it's a challenge," Scott says.

The challenges do not stop there as the small fire department has limited manpower.

Scott adds, "It's a detriment to the citizens of Vernon but with our limited staff and higher temperatures we don't get fires out as quickly, at some points, as a Wichita Falls Fire Department."

A job that has to get done no matter what it takes.

"It needs to be gone. So no matter the heat, the temperature, or the gear we have to wear. We have to put that fire out.

Firefighters at the Vernon Fire say they follow certain guidelines to help them stay safe like avoiding sports drinks and just sticking to water.

Also, as a rule of thumb, for every 15 to 20 minutes of fighting fires, they take a break of equal time.

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