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Residents doing battle with heat

Even though it is still technically spring, the summer heat is here in full force.

Temperatures have soared into the high 90s for the past week, and with the humidity nearly as high, it is no wonder workers are doing all they can to stay cool.

“We drink a lot of water,” said Larry Davidson, a supervisor for Alabama Specialties Inc. “We try to not work to fast and get overheated.”

Davidson and his crew are renovating two buildings at Marion Military Institute.

Workers had fans blowing inside the buildings as a way to beat the heat.

“We try to stand in front of the fans when we get hot,” said Davidson. “It helps a little bit to have them blowing air around.”

The National Weather Service recorded and average high of 96 degrees in the middle of the day and the average low set only at 70 degrees.

For firemen the combination of the heat from the flames and the temperature outside presents a unique challenge.”

“Anytime you deal with a fire, it is hot,” said Capt. Mike Frith. “You lose a lot of energy in a short amount of time.”

“You have to stay hydrated,” said Eng. Mickey Painter. “You have to remember to get in a lot of water.”

Capt. Doug Horton said another precaution was calling in more trucks than normal or even an ambulance.

“It always helps to have extra people,” said Horton.

Police officers also have unique conditions when they must get out of their car.

“Our people are getting in and out of their car,” said Police Chief Riley. “They are always wearing the vest and that makes it hotter.”

Riley said personal safety is covered in each meeting before the officers leave, and that includes keeping themselves safe from the heat.

“We want to make sure that they take in a lot of fluids,” said Riley. “If they are standing outside for a long time, we want them to do it in a cool place if they can. You never know if you will have to chase down someone either, so they need to be fit.”

Monica Newton, Ward 3 City Council representative and a physician at UAB Selma Family Medicine, said that hydration was the most important way for people to beat the heat.

“The old adage of drinking eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day is true,” said Newton. “Especially in the hot weather, you need to replace the losses from sweating.”

Newton said elderly and people on certain medication need to be more careful about the heat.

Newton said that workers outside needed to take special precaution as well.

“If you are working outside, take frequent breaks,” said Newton. “Keep well hydrated and stay moderate.”