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How Utahns escape the heat with and without work
How Utahns escape the heat with and without work

SOUTH JORDAN — Temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit did not stop a South Jordan City concrete crew from working outside Wednesday, digging out an area and preparing it for cement filling.

“Man, it’s a really hot day,” said Porter Mecham. But he says they have no choice – the work must go on. “For us, it’s just a normal day.”

What is not normal, however, is the extreme heat, which has put emergency services on alert.

“We take care of each other, we take breaks, we take turns, try to take a little break in the shade. Fill up our water,” Mecham said.

That same afternoon, a special truck for extreme weather conditions was demonstrated at Unified Fire Authority Station 115 in Copperton.

“This is our Unified Fire Authority restoration facility,” said Captain Justin Dekorver.

Special equipment used by the Utah Fire Authority to rehabilitate firefighters battling heat exhaustion. (Dan Rascon, KSL TV)

The facility was built to ensure that firefighters do not overheat while fighting fires, even though they are wearing 27 kg of equipment.

“We have things to keep people in the shade. We have misters to cool people down, ice water, Gatorade to keep people hydrated,” Dekorver said. “Keeping an eye on the firefighters and making sure they’re recovering and ready to go back to work.”

Firefighters said they should expect emergency calls for heat exhaustion when temperatures exceed 38 degrees.

“If you’re not sweating, that’s a problem. If you start to have an altered level of consciousness, that’s another big warning sign. Or if you feel weakness or lightheaded,” Dekorver said.

One place where KSL TV spotted huge crowds trying to escape the heat was the Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman. It looked like a holiday or weekend crowd, not a Wednesday afternoon crowd.

“I’m just hanging out and trying to cool off at the lake,” said Jessi Fowler, who came with her two young children. “(The kids) go in the water to cool off, come to play, go to cool off. It’s nice, it helps a lot.”

“The breeze is nice and if you’re hot you can just jump in the water and get out,” said Afton Gonzalez, a mother of two. “The water helps; the sand is fun.”

By Isla