(WFXR) — High temperatures are especially dangerous for those who work outside, like the tree trimmer who got stuck 50 feet in the air Wednesday, as well as the Roanoke County first responders who rescued him.
According to Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, the man’s bucket truck malfunctioned while he was trimming trees in a backyard on Wednesday, June 15, so crews sent up a rope to deliver supplies to him — such as water and an umbrella for shade — while they worked to get him down.
Even though the tree trimmer managed to climb down the department’s ladder truck on his own, crews say they were worried about him suffering from heat exhaustion.
WFXR News spoke with a different tree business, MIB Tree Service, which has experienced that kind of situation, but still shifts things around this time of year to accommodate workers on hot days.
The owner of MIB Tree Service, Thomas Craddock, says summer is the company’s busiest time.
“Unfortunately, it’s the worst time to work because of the heat, but that’s when everybody calls and everybody’s outside doing their work and gardening and looking at their trees and saying, ‘oh, I need to take that down,’ and they decide to call and that’s why most tree services are busy during the summer,” Craddock explained.
He says the tree business’ crews spend hours working in hot conditions each day, so during the summertime, they take 15-minute breaks every hour.
“I make sure that when they go out in the mornings, they’ve got plenty of water in the coolers, that each crew as we’re split up on different job sites has plenty of waters and sports drinks,” said MIB Tree Service’s office manager, Kathy Giffin.
In addition staying hydrated and pacing yourself when working outside in high temperatures, health experts recommend wearing the right type of clothes.
“If you absolutely have to be outside in this heat, you obviously want to make sure you’re wearing light clothing, both in weight and in color,” said Ottilia Lewis, trauma outreach coordinator for Carilion Clinic. “The darker the color, it’s going to absorb more sunlight and make you hot faster.”
According to Lewis, signs of heat exhaustion include feeling faint, dizzy, or cold; looking pale; or having muscle cramps.
“If that happens, you want to get to a cooler environment, preferably somewhere with air conditioning; drink water; and take a cool shower — not cold, you don’t want to shock your system — or use a cold compress on your body,” said Lewis.
Lewis also recommends wearing sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, as well as looking out for your friends and family to make sure they’re taking similar measures.