While you're trying to keep cool at home, first responders are making sure they're ready to help people in with summer heat. They don't have the option to stay indoors and fire fighters don't have an option to dress for the weather.
"Our firefighter gear is basically like putting on a snow mobile suit in the summer," Assistant Chief of Operations Robb MacDogall said. "On top of that, you strap on a 30 pound air pack and then any tools that you're grabbing, then you go and do the most intense work you can possibly imagine."
The department had to treat three of their fire fighters for heat related injuries after two separate fires over the weekend.
They were minor injuries and all responders are back to duty. Fire fighters can suffer from heat related injuries like dehydration and over exertion.
WQAD-TV 8 (Davenport/Rock Island/Moline)
A widely-shared social media post about a public safety officer’s move to a supervisory role has poured gasoline on the flames of the city’s use of public safety officers in lieu of separate police officers and firefighters.
The Monday afternoon Facebook post from Cedar Falls Firefighter’s Local #1366 said that the city “plans to remove Fire Battalion Chief Curt Hildebrand from shift in order to place Public Safety Supervisor Tim Smith in complete charge of a shift.”
“Chief Hildebrand is a 20 year career firefighter with 12 years as a fire officer,” the post continues. “PSS Smith has less than 9 months professional firefighting experience.” The post received nearly 500 shares and more than 200 comments as of Wednesday, and was also brought up by resident Whitney Smith at Monday night’s Cedar Falls City Council meeting.
“This is very concerning to me,” Smith said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “Mr. Smith has nine months of prior fire experience? It takes years to build up experience.”
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Shenandoah firefighters battled a dryer fire at a local ethanol plant Tuesday. Shenandoah Fire Chief Ron Weston tells KMA News crews were called to Green Plains just before 9:30 a.m. Authorities say a fire started in a dryer used by the facility to remove moisture from an ethanol by-product. Weston says the by-product overheated and ignited.
The fire was contained to the dryer and was extinguished by firefighters and Green Plains staff. Crews were on scene for approximately two-and-a-half hours. Red Oak Fire was called for additional aerial support, but was not needed. No injuries were reported.
KMA AM-960 & FM-99.1
As the Quad Cities Area prepares for a heat wave, some first responders are warning of the fire risk associated with leaving a water bottle inside a hot vehicle.
A plastic bottle filled with water can magnify the intensity of direct sunlight, according to firefighter Jay Symonds of Manlius, New York.
Symonds told WSTM-TV under the right conditions a water bottle in direct sunlight can catch upholstery or plastic on fire.
CBS News reports a plastic water bottle left in a hot vehicle in Idaho in 2017 caused the vehicle’s seat to begin burning.
While a water bottle sparking a fire may be unlikely, some fire departments across the country in recent years have warned the public of the potential risk.
A Davenport Fire Department spokesperson agrees circumstances have to be just right, but it is worth avoiding the possibility.
Veteran firefighters don’t scare easily, but on October 8, 2018, Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller was worried.
“In my 37 years of working in the fire department, this was the only time I thought I was gonna lose someone,” Miller said.
On that night firefighters went out to rescue a young man who was floating out on the Des Moines River. They were able to rescue the man, but lost their boat.
The department is now able to replace their lost fishing boat with a river rescue boat thanks to numerous organizations who donated.
The new boat cost a total of $54,286 and the city will pay about $21,000. “We got the rest through grants and reimbursement money,” Miller said. “We’re lucky to receive the grant money. We are very fortunate they saw the problem. Without their donations it would have been really tough. We very much appreciate the Riverboat Foundation and everyone else.”