Firefighters respond to more exhaustion, cramps, chest pain call - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Firefighters respond to more exhaustion, cramps, chest pain calls through heat wave

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Firefighters are responding to more and more calls due to the heat wave and recommend visitors and locals be proactive. 

Horry County Fire Rescue Wellness Coordinator Michael Medeiros says it takes about 10 days for a person to adjust to such high temperatures.

"They've got a little bit more to work with each and every day. But if they're not catching up, they are going to be behind the eight ball real quick," Medeiros explained. 

Medeiros said it's important people are hydrated from the start.

"You really have to be hydrated, not only throughout the day but before you go out, the night before, the day before," Medeiros added. 

He explained drinking water, isn't enough because you'll just sweat it out.

"If you are not replenishing the sodium and potassium the body really needs, you tend to still get those cramps and end up getting dehydrated," Medeiros explained. 

In other words, Medeiros said, don't skip meals. However, he suggested avoiding high sugar foods as well as soda. 

He added, if people are drinking alcohol, they need to make sure they are also drinking a lot of water. 

Medeiros also recommended people ask their doctors about the medications they are on before they spend much time in the heat.

"A lot of the medications you take each day can actually hinder you in the sun and in the heat," he added. 

While they are ready to come to the rescue when needed, Medeiros said firefighters also have to keep hydrated and make sure they aren't the ones that need saving.

Medeiros explained that's why they are reminding everyone not to take this heat wave lightly and throughout the next week, every firefighter on duty will be sent the high-temperature policy and there will be no extreme training. 

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