Summer has arrived and the chances of suffering heat stress while working on the fireground greatly increase. Here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association on how to protect yourself.
* Maintain a high level of aerobic fitness.
* Acclimate yourself to the increased heat by gradually increasing work time in the heat, taking care to replace fluids, and resting as needed.
* Before work, drink 1 to 2 cups of water, juice, or a sport drink. Avoid excess coffee or other caffeine drinks.
* While working, take several fluid breaks every hour, drinking at least 1 quart of fluid. Drink as much as you can during breaks.
* After work, continue drinking to replace fluid losses. Always drink more than you think you need.
* When on the job, wear loose-fitting garments to enhance air movement. Wear cotton T-shirts and underwear to help sweat evaporate.
* Always train and work with a partner. Remind each other to drink lots of fluids and keep an eye on each other. If your partner suffers a heat disorder, start treatment immediately.