Multiple firefighter trainees experience heat-related illness - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Multiple firefighter trainees experience heat-related illness

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News 2 has learned about some medical emergencies at the Charleston Fire Department training facility.

In one week, three trainees showed signs of heat-related illness. Two of them were admitted to the hospital.

The spokesperson for the department said the recruit school is a physically demanding 6-month training so they use a heat monitoring protocol to limit work activity and ensure adequate rest periods, during these excruciating summer months.

During the training last week that was a ten minute break every hour.

When temps neared 100 degrees there were four instances involving three recruits where the trainees had to stop working for medical evaluation.

Two of the recruits were hospitalized and later released although the department said there were other contributing factors, unrelated to the training, that led to this rise in heat exhaustion.

At all times emergency medical technicians are on site to immediately respond to such emergencies. Firemen at the training facility Sunday said they take rest and hydration seriously at the training school because it's five days a week of continuous exposure to the elements there.

News 2 spoke with the department this weekend and they say safety officers will work together to evaluate possible changes or improvements to ensure safety.

Friday there was a "safety stand down" to discuss hydration, rest and recovery.

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