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How Utahns are escaping the heat on and off the clock

Jul 10, 2024, 5:32 PM | Updated: Jul 11, 2024, 6:35 am

SOUTH JORDAN — Over 100-degree temperatures did not stop a South Jordan concrete crew from working outside Wednesday, digging up an area and prepping it to pour cement.

“Man, it’s a hot one for sure,” Porter Mecham said. But he said they have no choice — the work must go on. “Normal day for us.”

But what’s not normal is the excessive heat, putting crews on guard.

“We look after each other, we take breaks, we switch each other off, try and take a little break in the shade. Top off our water,” Mecham said.

A special extreme weather conditions truck was showcased the same afternoon at Unified Fire Authority’s station 115 in Copperton.

“This is our Unified Fire Authority rehab rig,” said Capt. Justin Dekorver.

A special rig that the Utah Fire Authority uses to rehabilitate fire fighters battling heat exhaustion. (Dan Rascon, KSL TV)

The rig was built to keep firefighters from overheating while working a fire. And, while wearing 60 pounds of gear.

“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. “Keep an eye on firefighters, make sure they are rehabilitating and ready to go back to work.”

Firefighters said when it gets to be over 100 degrees, they expect to respond to those heat exhaustion calls.

“If you are not sweating that’s a problem. If you start to have an altered level of consciousness that’s another thing that we would see another big flag. Or if you are feeling weakness or lightheaded,” Dekorver said.

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

“Just hanging out trying to keep cool by the lake,” said Jessi Fowler, who came with her two young kids. “(The kids) get in the water get cool, come play, go get cool, so it’s nice it helps a lot.”

“The breeze feels good and if you are feeling hot you can just go hop in the water and come out,” said mother of two, Afton Gonzalez. “The water helps; the sand is fun.”

KSL 5 TV Live

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How Utahns are escaping the heat on and off the clock