Workers And Firefighters Doing Their Best To Beat The Heat

Many people are working out in the elements as temperatures are rising. Eric Hansen is co-owner and general manager at True South Solar in Ashland. Hansen said installing solar panels on a roof can be uncomfortable and temperatures can get up to 140 degrees. Hansen said his employees get on the roof as early as six in the morning and get off as soon as possible.

“The key to being on a hot roof is to stay hydrated and get off as soon as you feel compromised. When you start to feel dingy, it’s time to get off the roof, drink some water and take lots of breaks,” Hansen said. Hansen said there are plenty of other jobs to do if it’s too hot outside like mounting equipment in a garage or roof overhang.

“We try to stay out of the attic in the afternoon when it’s very hot up there. There’s other things to do when we’re not installing solar panels,” Hansen said. Hansen said his crew is not going on the roof today, but is working on permits and preparing for the next job.

True South Solar is in between jobs and firefighters are in between fires. Brian Ballou with Oregon Department of Forestry said his crews are scattered across Jackson and Josephine counties ready for any fire calls.

“We’ll be on our toes and probably working the engines working a lot longer depending on how the storm pans out. What actually happens is the great unknown, but we’re poised as well as we can be for such things,” Ballou said. Ballou said the firefighters need to have lots of water, fill their ice chests before they leave the compound and keep an eye on each other in the heat. He said the heat is not a surprise and most of the firefighters are used to it.

“Each year you kinda got to get yourself re-acclimated to the really hot stuff because it hits you hard and fast, so hopefully we won’t have any problems with that and we’ll keep a watch on it,” Ballou said. Ballou said experience in the fire service is probably the most vital element in being a safe, useful and effective firefighter. Their experience should help deal with the current heat. One Medford resident even got out of his car and said it should be illegal to let anyone outside when it’s this hot.

Shaun Franks