Phoenix heat times 5? All in a day's work for firefighters - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Phoenix heat times 5? All in a day's work for firefighters

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Imagine rushing into a building that is 500 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. And imagine you're wearing nearly 100 pounds of gear and you're focused on saving lives and homes.

That’s what firefighters do day in and day out.

Phoenix firefighters were called out to a house fire on Holy Street in central Phoenix on Tuesday. It was 1:20 in the afternoon and 103 degrees outside.

“Stay in shape. Everybody is. They all have their own cardio routines, weight training whatever. You just really need to stay in shape on this job,” says Phoenix firefighter John Izzo.

Izzo was among the crews battling not only the flames, but the heat as well.

“You don't really, you're not cognizant of the fact that you have all of this stuff on.”

“You go into a burning structure. It can be 500 or 600 degrees with 75 pounds of gear on, exerting yourself in 100 degree heat. When you come outside, you take your gear off, you actually get the chills outside because your temperature has dropped so much,” says PJ Dean, spokesman for Phoenix Fire.

The Phoenix Fire Department says this is the toughest time of year for firefighters. In order to prevent illness or worse on the job, they have to stay hydrated, get proper rest and make sure they don't overexert.

“We try to replenish our crews as quickly as possible, try to keep it to a 10-minute work cycle,” says Dean.

The three people inside Tuesday’s house fire made it out safely. Crews put the fire out before it destroyed the entire home.

Firefighter Izzo, who has been fighting fires in the Phoenix sun for more than 20 years, says it's all in a day’s work. But that doesn’t mean it gets any easier when temperatures rise.

“No no it doesn’t. Again, it’s an adrenaline rush, you really don’t think about it.”

Keep in mind firefighters battle more than one fire a day, and often respond to accidents in the heat and mountain rescues. The department will send a firefighter home if they suffer from heat stress.

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