Working in Hot Temperatures

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The Permian Basin is seeing some scorching temperatures. Most of us are doing our best to stay inside. But for some people being outside is just part of the job.

"You get into atmospheres that anybody in regular clothing would not be able to survive in, we are able to survive in about a 1000 maybe 1400 degrees for a very short period of time," Chuck Leftwich with the Odessa Fire Department, said.

Fire fighters are used to working in extremely hot situations. It's all about hydration and taking care of yourself.

"We all try to keep in pretty good physical condition, we try to hydrate ourselves on our days off.  Also we take breaks more often than we usually do specially when temperatures are this week and have been," Leftwich said.

But not everyone has to deal with those extreme temperatures. Construction workers have to battle triple digit temperatures during days like Tuesday. 

"You need to know your own body, lots of people are more tolerant than other, some of these construction workers have being working for jobs like this outside for 15 to 20 years, and they know from experience just exactly what their body will tolerate," Glen Larum, Public Information Officer with the Texas Departement of Transportation said.

Despite these very hot temperatures Larum says, West Texas' hot summer is actually helpful when it comes to beating heat exhaustion.

"If we were working in Houston or Austin or San Antonio or some place where the humidity was 85% or 90%  you get a combination of heat of 100 degrees, and that kind of humidity it's just zaps it out of you," Larum said.    

Fire fighters and construction workers both agree keeping hydrated is key to beating the heat.