"Well, of course, the heat's always a problem; the fire makes it worse," said Roosevelt Fire Chief Bill Sides.
Heat and wind kept firefighters battling a structure fire in a shed and trailer for almost 2 hours and required firefighters to be in full gear. "I'm going to guess 30 pounds," said Sides. "The air packs that you see is probably 45 or 50, and of course the helmet will weighs 5 pounds, they're heavy." That's almost 75 additional pounds on the body. Sides added the all the gear - pants, jacket, gloves and more - are all made of a thick material.
"Our bunker clothes are designed to keep the heat out from the fire, but they also keep the body heat in, so it makes it extremely hot in those things," said Sides.
Idalou EMS was on hand to check on the firefighters and offer any assistance for fire or heat related injuries, including overheating.
"People sweat inside that gear and it doesn't evaporate, it turns into a big problem," said Sides. "If you see these guys standing around, about the first thing they'll do is pull their coat off and start shedding some of their bunker gear."
Roosevelt, Idalou, and Buffalo Springs departments all responded to the call. That was a total of about 30 people to help out, which gave everyone a turn in the shade and a break from the heat of the fire. "You just have to stop, rotate through the fire scene pretty regularly, and stay hydrated, drink lots of water," said Sides.
Multiple calls were made for additional water, not just for the flames, but bottles for the firefighters. "If you'll notice, everyone is standing around with a water bottle in their hand, and it's probably the second or third one they've had by this time in the fire," said Sides.