MADISON (WKOW) – Firefighters are taking extra precautions to make sure they don't end up being victims of the heat themselves.
Firefighters from seven departments went to a fire on Ford Street in Monona just after midnight on Thursday.
Even that early in the morning, it was about 85 degrees out.
Everyone inside the duplex got out safe, except the family's dog.
But the high temperatures sent one firefighter to the hospital with heat exhaustion.
"It's just bound to happen on days like today," says Madison firefighter David Trieloff.
The work is tougher and, in some cases, there's more of it.
"There has definitely been an increase in daytime calls. Sunday, for example, we had 17 calls in the first 12 hours and Tuesday we had 15 in 12 hours," Nick Zimpel says.
The firefighter/paramedic at Madison Fire Station 1 says they usually get about half that.
Then there's the gear…
"It's pretty heavy and it can be quite cumbersome," Trieloff says.
He says altogether, the gear weighs about 80 pounds. While it protects against heat and flames on the outside, it also keeps things pretty warm on the inside.
"We definitely need to concentrate on drinking liquids because not only are we on the ambulance but we also do structure firefighting as well," Zimpel says.
They make sure to get good meals when they can and aren't outside training like they normally would be.
If they're fighting fires they'll call multiple crews, like in Monona, to give each firefighter a chance to recover.
"Mostly it's the responsibility of yourself to stay hydrated and ready so you can perform," Trieloff says.
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