70 pounds of gear makes staying cool tougher - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

70 pounds of gear makes staying cool tougher

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Most of us are trying to avoid the heat any way we can, but others can't help but work outside.

When Wausau firefighters head to a call, heat can be a big problem.

"The heat compounds all the stress on our bodies and all the work we have to do," said Wausau Fire Department Lt. Ted Tautges.

That's especially true when temperatures soar above 90 degrees.

"In this type of weather, by the time we actually start firefighting operations, our bodies have undergone a lot more stress just from carrying around the extra gear in the heat," said Tautges.

That extra gear weighs more than 70 pounds.

"When it's this hot, we'll adjust our training to the more didactic training than the physical training," said Tautges.

Firefighters aren't the only ones braving the heat.

"On a 70 degree day it's uncomfortable. On a 95 degree day, it's unbearable," said Wausau Police Officer Max LaPorte.

LaPorte says on really hot days, it's all about drinking water and staying as cool as possible.

Police officers aren't the only ones who need to stay cool when it's this hot outside. K-9 officers also have ways to stay safe in the heat.

"Just like any other officer, they need to be able to do their job. If they're too hot or have issues because of the heat, then they're not able to do their job," said LaPorte.

Police say K-9s like Pluto are given water regularly and stay in air conditioned cars. If the air conditioner fails, the back windows roll down automatically.

All these steps are used to help the people who have to work outside stay a little cooler.  

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