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Kansas City-area first responders, mail carriers prepare for heatwave

Olathe Fire Department
Posted at 4:45 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 18:35:08-04

OLATHE, Kan.  — As the Kansas City area prepares for sizzling temperatures, some people can’t avoid being outside in them.

First responders and mail carriers come to mind.

Firefighters and paramedics at the Olathe Fire Department tell KSHB 41 that they can’t stop doing their jobs due to the temperatures, but they can adjust how they do some of their duties.

The same goes for first responders in the winter, they have to adjust.

Capt. Robert Collins, with the Olathe Fire Department, explained some of the changes made during the summer.

The focus is on staying hydrated, changing up their uniforms while at the station and having additional help on scene of emergencies to prevent first responders from being overworked and overheated.

“Having more apparatus come to the scene, so guys aren’t being overtaxed on the scene, because a lot of that stuff can get kind of heavy, load wise, as far as doing our tasks," Collins said. "So just getting more people on scene to help out with these tasks, because it can drain a little bit more than normal."

With temperatures expected to our into triple digits midweek, Collins told KSHB 41 that fire academy training could be rescheduled.

The U.S. Postal Service on the other hand has to ensure employees are trained to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke because mail carriers are working alone.

“We provide them with water, cooling towels, proper uniform, we always make sure they have a hat covering their head," Mark Inglett, a U.S. Postal Service Communications Specialist said. "We ask them to get in the shade if they start feeling a little exhausted, and if it gets worse, to call us immediately and we’ll make sure they get the proper care."

Regardless of the temperatures as the season change, first responders and mail carriers will brave the bitter cold and brutal temperatures to get the job done.

“We’re 24/7, 365, so we got to be here in all conditions and that’s what we plan on doing," Collins said.