Heat and huge fire tests firefighters

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There were three incidents involving fire fighters battling the massive office complex blaze Monday. Two of those firefighters are being treated at a hospital. Some of what they experienced included dehydration.

“You can see from behind me that is much more in check than it once was because of their hard work,” said Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan.

He says thanks to the men and women of Clark County Fire as well as Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, they were able to get the fire under control but it’s never easy for crews up against extreme conditions. The Las Vegas summer heat combined with a firefighter’s heavy gear makes it a tough job.

“The firefighters here in southern Nevada understand the temperatures, it’s tough to stay trained, but they do. They’re all physically fit and make sure they get regular exercise and eat well,” Buchanan said.

They understand the temperatures they are dealing with from day to day and Monday was no exception. 

“Preparation is key. People are prepared we have water and Gatorade ready 24 hours a day seven days a week, 365 days out of every year. So, today was no different,” he said.

Health and safety of personnel is crucial so extra resources like a rehab station are set up at scenes. Even so, firefighters can get overheated at a large fire.

“Heat-related, weakness, just overworked exertion in the heat and so forth,” said Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell. “One of the generals was up on the big ladder for hours up there by himself working.”

Cassell says that firefighter went to the hospital to get checked and hydrated. Two others also needed medical aid. Despite the incidents, crews are thankful for the support from the community.

“We thought of the firefighters and people that are out there that are responding to this incident that was our first reaction as a team and as people,” said Mila Rosenthal, Wells Fargo bank manager. “We’re like wow who is providing them with water.”

Rosenthal and her co-workers at Wells Fargo helped the crews by getting them water and healthy snacks.

“They were so grateful they said, ‘This is great. This is fantastic.’ Yeah, we put a smile on their face definitely,” Rosenthal said.

Chief Cassell also said Del Frisco’s restaurant provided food to crews, as well. And as for the two firefighters who were hospitalized, they should be released Monday night.

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