Moss Point Firefighters heat things up with new training program

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - As the temperatures rise it's getting harder and harder for first responders to do their jobs.    Some Moss Point firefighters are preparing for the double whammy of hot weather and fiery conditions.

Jumping jacks, push-ups  and  running laps around a stadium in 95 degree temperatures is downright uncomfortable for these Moss Point firefighters.

"It is hot," Woodrow McCarthy said.

Firefighter Floyd Downs had lots of sweat on his face after just 20 minutes.

"I started with my mask on, but I had to take it off because I had to catch my breath," Downs said.

But the men are not letting the heat stop them from finishing another day of intense training. They recently started the voluntary workout plan to get their bodies conditioned to the heat.

"The number one death in firefighters is heart attacks," Downs said. "We have a lot of down time. If you come out here and get the blood pumping to your heart, you are in better shape."

Moss Point Firefighters said the jacket and the helmet weighs about 20 pounds, and mixed with 90 degrees, it is tough to do this twice a week.

"Yes, some people call us crazy, exercising in the middle of the day in the suits and our body temperatures get a little hotter, but we look at this like it's survival . This is our job and we don't want to get to a hot building and never [have] experienced it before," Downs said.

There have been 10 major fires in Moss Point and several minor ones so far this year.  The men said if they keep running, doing push-ups and keeping their bodies moving, they'll be more then ready for the next blaze.

"You have to be able to think, operate and move at the same time," McCarthy said.

"We do it for ourselves because we can't help anybody in a house fire if we fall out," Downs said.

The men said they always keep water and fluids nearby to make sure they stay hydrated through the workout. They don't recommend that people try this plan, they're just doing what works for them.

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