WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS (KFDX/KJTL)— Imagine not being able to seek shelter from the heat because your job requires you to work in it like a firefighter or a motorcycle patrol officer.
Officials with the Wichita Falls Fire Department and Police Department both said one of their main priorities is to make sure the ones saving lives are looking out for their own as well.
Summer temperatures across Texoma have been brutal, now imagine working in even more heat, like a house fully engulfed in flames.
“We just have to make sure that we take in plenty of fluids and make sure our guys go over to our rehab areas when we’re working at a fire and make sure they get their coats off and get cooled down as much as they can,” Fire Chief Donald Hughes said. “With this gear we wear its hard to stay cool, so we just give them as many breaks as you can.”
Those breaks are something Sgt. Van Dotson with the Wichita Falls Police Department said is very important when it comes to his motorcycle officers out on patrol.
“We encourage the guys to take a lot of breaks throughout the day. Some guys just love sitting in the sun but we encourage them to stay in the shade and take numerous water breaks to stay hydrated,” Dotson said.
Sometimes the gear worn by these heroes can be the reason they get too hot.
“The whole outfit is made to keep the heat off of us but it’s just like wearing a winter coat outside,” Hughes said.
Which is why WFPD just purchased new uniforms for their motorcycle patrol units, going from long sleeve black uniforms to something a little cooler.
“They’re just really hot during the summer so we were looking for a combination of high vision uniform plus a cooler uniform to help us out especially during the summer months,” Dotson said.
With hot temperatures expected to stick around, these men and women in uniform will be doing everything necessary to battle this summer heat.
Another thing that firefighters use to help keep them cool is wrapping an iced down towel around their necks.