From roofers to fire crews, Valley's outdoor workers brave dangerous heat

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- By around noon on Friday, it was already 100 degrees and plenty of outdoor workers in the Visalia area were still on the job, feeling the heat.

The harsh sun beat down on some roofers as they finished up some prep work atop the old A&W near downtown Visalia.

"We have to, somebody has to do it," Adolfo Panaaiagua says, adding that the heat hit him hard while he was on a job last summer.

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He felt dizzy and had a headache.

But he did the right thing by telling his boss he needed a break.

"We drink a lot of water and drink some electrolytes and if we can by 12 or 1, it's too hot, we just take off," Panaaiagua said.

Firefighters and other emergency responders are also at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It's why Tulare County Fire Captain Joe Rosa says crews avoid outdoor activities in high heat.

"For us, we don't want to be completely destroyed when we get to a fire because we've been outside all day doing station maintenance," Rosa said.

The department's light and air units are always deployed to building fires and carry water, Gatorade, chairs, and misters.

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At grass fires, Rosa says they try to adjust their work-rest cycles for crews on the line.

"So that if you're working for an hour or two, then we're going to get that 15, 30-minute rest period," Rosa said. "Just to make sure that guys aren't cramping, guys aren't exhibiting signs of a heat-related illness that they're going to need medical attention for."

The inside of the Bombshell Beans coffee truck was roasting on Friday.

"Especially with the black truck," owner Stephen Moore said. "It's definitely rough. We have the AC running full blast."

Moore makes sure his workers are staying hydrated on days like Friday.

He also hopes his customers do the same.

"If you're having coffee, drink water with it as well," Moore said. "It's very important to stay hydrated. We're all addicted to caffeine but we got to be drinking the water as well. So I always have a side of water with my coffee."
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