Firefighters keep cool in extreme heat

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. KNOP-TV For North Platte Fire Department Captain Jeremy Hankla suiting up is part of the job. But on hot and humid days, the extra 60 pound load is an added challenge.

During extreme hot temperatures, fighting fires can be even more dangerous than usual for firefighters. (Source: Beatriz Reyna/KNOP-TV)

"You're breaking a sweat even before you get on scene because you are putting it on in 90 plus degree weather," Hankla said.

Two firemen were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion while fighting three house fires this past week.

Although there are safety precautions that are put into motion to keep his team safe, Hankla says the battalion chief will order his crew to take a break from the heat and hydrate.

"Usually you try to take at least your helmet and your mask off, unzip your coat and just drink fluid," said Hankla. "You don't want anybody working in a dangerous environment when they feel unsafe."