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How are Kentuckiana firefighters faring with excessive heat, heavy gear?

Fire officials say there can be some serious consequences if they don't take care of themselves and listen to their bodies.

ZONETON, Ky. — When it comes to battling fires, firefighters are use to dealing with extreme temperatures. But with Kentuckiana's recent wave of excessive heat, and having to dress in heavy protective gear, it can get pretty hot, real quick.

"You're sweating profusely at that point," Dustin Headley, Captain at the Zoneton Fire Department, said.

ZFD Chief Kevin Moulton says the gear they need to keep them safe weighs nearly 80 pounds and is no walk in the park.

"It does not breathe," he said. "It's not like cool, wicking shirts that people wear, anything, it does not breathe at all."

Chief Moulton says the department's auxiliary team is a blessing to the team. Headley says the auxiliary is what keeps them protected throughout the day.

"They come out with three, four or five coolers of ice with water," Headley said. "And on a day like today it's nothing to go through three or four cases of water just on one incident."

Each firefighter in the department makes sure they're hydrated throughout the day as some fires can get over a thousand degrees inside.

RELATED: How to beat dehydration and stay healthy in the heat

Chief Moulton says their men and women's safety is top of mind, so they make sure to have support for them when they are out of harm's way.

Moulton said as crews come out of a building after putting out a blaze, EMS is standing by to check on them.

"We have our commanding officer, our safety officer and we're gonna keep an eye on them," Moulton said. "I'm checking them out, they go directly to rehab and drop their gear."

Headley said there can be serious consequences if they don't take care of themselves.

"Overheating and heat exhaustion, heat stroke, we're not exempt from that," he said. "We're just like the public and actually our chances increase significantly, once we put that gear on."

Chief Moulton says anyone looking to support the department can bring over cases of water for them to have on hand during these hot days.

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