Extreme Heat Brings Concern For Local Firefighters - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Extreme Heat Brings Concern For Local Firefighters

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Wednesday was officially the hottest day of the year so far.

For some local firefighters, it was a harsh reminder of what these brave men and women face, when the weather doubles down on the heat.

The Princess Anne Volunteer Fire Company was reportedly called to a home on Ebby Road just after 4:00 PM for a structure fire, which started in the garage of the home. However, once firefighters entered, the house became engulfed in flames.

"Once we did that it was so hot, we had to call other tankers and we had ten other companies, about 75 firefighters on scene," says Chief Kenny Walston with the Princess Anne Volunteer Fire Company.

This was on a day where all of Delmarva had a heat index over 100 at some point.

"If it had been different weather, a little cooler, it probably wouldn't have been as bad on the members," says Chief Walston. "The members are here fighting the fire, and you've got the heat from the fire, it takes a toll on your members that have all the gear on."

Officials say one firefighter was transported and released from PRMC for heat exhaustion, and ten others were treated on scene. Chief Walston says eventually all of them had to be treated just for precautionary purposes. He says the hot temperatures are a major concern for the summer season when it comes to keeping their members safe and being able to tackle fires efficiently and quickly.

"You try to keep plenty of water, cold drinks, ice packs on hand," says Chief Walston. "You try to rehab them get them out for a few minutes, then get them back in, so it's very hard on them."

Luckily this summer, some local fire companies may have a little more support. In Somerset County, fire companies have a "mass casualty trailer" available, which provides resources such as fans, tents, and hydration. The unit was reportedly funded by a 2013 grant, and Wednesday's fire was the first time it saw action.

"It's a good thing that we were able to have that today."

The Maryland Fire Marshal's Office is reportedly investigating the cause of the fire, but fire officials say it was a total loss, with damages estimated at $350,000. Officials say there was only one occupant in the home and he was not injured.

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