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Coastal Bend firefighters putting out fires while trying to beat the heat

Firefighter Lung Screening
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-21 23:18:45-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Firefighters all around the Coastal Bend are working nonstop with this heat wave, but fire crews are also needing to beat the heat.

Annaville Fire Station 2 Captain Robert Staberg said when putting out fires they can be exposed to temperatures of over 300 degrees.

Staberg also said some days putting out a fire can take anywhere from 30 minuets to 12 hours.

“It does get pretty hot in that gear so anytime we are able to take that off and kind of take a breather and drink some water on us that is what we will do," Staberg said. "But most of the time when we get there we try to put the fire out as quick as we can that way we are not there for a prolonged period of time.”

Staberg said all members need to be in shape to be exposed to these conditions. If a crew members starts to feel ill, the Corpus Christi AMBUS vehicle can be on site to help rehab the guys.

“We take out breaks when we need them, we try not to tire ourselves out especially if it’s been so hot lately," Staberg said. "The guys know if they need a break they take a break.”

The City of Corpus Christi Assistant Chief for Training and Safety Doug Matthijitz said crew members must hydrate in the hours before they are even exposed to these fires.

Matthijitz said even though the citizens safety and putting out the fire fires is a priority keeping the crews safe and healthy is also very important.

“Safety for our guys is our number one priority and keep them healthy we do take risks but that must comes with the job," he said.

Matthijitz also said even though a single fire can go on for hours they are constantly rotating their crew members.

“Rotate our crews you know every 15 or 20 minutes and try to recycle them and get some water get another air bottle and go back in for a little bit and then go out for a more formal rehab.” he said.

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