TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Local first responders are having to respond to a high volume of high related emergencies due to the high temperatures outside.
High heat indexes, dry conditions and wind gusts are the unfortunate elements that could start and spread a fire. Terre Haute Fire Chief Bill Berry said that these conditions are very prevalent in the area at the moment.
“Sometimes when the wind is blowing fires can get out of control,” Berry explained. “It’s a good combination of getting fires started and going.”
Beyond just house fires, Berry said that firefighters are having to respond to multiple illegal burns and brush fires as well. The intense heat of a fire combined with high air temperatures puts immense pressure on the firefighters.
“When it’s this hot out and we’re inside fires, they’re getting worked and worked,” Berry said. “and that’s a real factor for our firefighters.”
Otter Creek Fire Department Assistant Chief Jarred Rankin said they’re also responding to a high number of heat related calls. He said that heat exhaustion is one of the most common calls.
“Heat related emergencies are kind of underestimated,” Rankin said. “But the reality is that heat related emergencies are the number one weather related cause of death.”
Rankin said that simply staying hydrated is the best way to avoid a heat related emergency. He also suggested that if you’re having to perform duties outside, to routinely take breaks or find shaded area.