Our View

Firefighters deserve our thanks for a job well done

We want to use this space in this issue to commend our local firefighters on the terrific job they’ve done the last several days battling everything from grass fires to a blazing auto art shop.

What people don’t understand is, yes, battling fires is a hot job. But battling fires in record-breaking heat is a different matter.

When the mercury rises, firefighters don’t have that cool place to retreat to. Instead, they only broil more slowly in the south Louisiana summer.

The protective clothing they wear is stifling. It’s similar to wrapping oneself in a wool blanket and walking around outdoors in the sun.

And the hoses, air tanks and the people they lug around only take more of a toll in sweat.

The heat and humidity saps their strength and dehydrates them. They stand in place hosing a fire until relieved by another to only have to sit and sweat more. There is no respite for them.

There are few times more dreaded to fight a fire than in the late afternoon heat.

They desperately drink bottled water and cool their heads with wet rags, as they sit in front of powerful fans blowing marginally cooler air, waiting for their turn to go in again, or to be sent elsewhere.

Fighting fires in 100-degree temperatures takes more than just courage. It takes an almost superhuman stamina and determination.

Good job and thank you, firefighters.