SAN ANTONIO - When it's 100 degrees outside, for firefighters it's even hotter when battling a blaze - and that's an added threat to fire crews. So how are they protecting themselves while protecting us?
Flames, smoke and unbearable heat
"Being inside a structure fire is like being inside an oven," said Steve Reuthinger, battalion chief of Services Logistics with the San Antonio Fire Department.
Firefighters can be exposed to heat of 1,500 degrees or more. An intense fire under the sizzling sun is a dangerous combination.
"It's very easy for a firefighter to get heat exhaustion," said Reuthinger.
There are measures in place to keep the fire crews cool.
"On any regular alarm with a structure fire we send a medic unit and a medic officer, and in the back of the unit we have water and ice," said the battalion chief.
But when it comes to fighting the more intense fires a "rehab bus" is ready to roll at a moment's notice.
After spending about 20 minutes inside a structure fire the crews are escorted inside the bus to "rehab".
"We take their gear off," said the battalion chief. "We cool them down and we take their vital signs."
It's constant monitoring and if there's any reason for concern SAFD doesn't take any chances.
"We will send them to the hospital if we have to," said Reuthinger.