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Outdoor workers beat the heat during weather advisory

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - It's the hottest day of the season so far. A heat advisory is in effect on June 18 for portions of the Twin Tiers until 8pm. The advisory cautions people to stay indoors, but what about those whose job it is to stay outside?

The workers I spoke to today said staying home is simply not an option.

For the Vecino Company, today was the first day on site for the Libertad Elmira project. They're on a deadline, and working 11 hours a day to complete the project. 

The superintendent, Bob Stillman, says that safety is his number one priority.

"I tell the guys, take as much time as you need. Take a break, get in the shade. And again if there's any problem, I can always take them in the trailer where there's air conditioning, get them cooled down," Stillman said. 

"It's kind of part of the job, you get used to it after your first or second year of doing it...it's just kind of the nature of the beast," Joseph Adeigbo, owner of the Vecino Company said. 

""We're kind of used to it but it does change our work dynamics a little bit as far as how long we can actually work before the personell just becomes so physically exhausted that they can't do the job," Timothy Overly, Deputy Chief of the Elmira Fire Department said. 

While a 100-degree day might mean hitting the beach or pool for most, not everyone has that luxury. Construction workers, firefighters and the like have to come up with other strategies to beat the heat. 

""We've got 2 coolers, about 20 gallons of fresh water on the floor. We usually tell the guys - Pedialyte, Gatorade, and just keep going," Adeigbo said. 

"Work-rest timeframe is really important for us - about 20 minutes of work time, 40 minutes of down time to rehab, and having sufficient manpower to relieve crews that are actually fighting the fires is big for us," Overly said. 

On days like today, these first responders actually need their own first responders actually need their own first responders on hand in cases of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. 

Not only does their complete set of gear weigh 80 lbs, the firefighters' temperature can get up to 118 degrees, just standing in direct sunlight.

"The temperatures are a little to the extreme but even when it's not extreme we still have the same issues of wearing the extra gear, standing in direct sunlight actually increases our body temperature - we have to worry about our body core temperature getting too high," Overly said. 

In the end, workng outdoors in the heat isn't for everyone. 

We lose a lot of guys. Most people are like - I want a desk job," Adeigbo said. 

But at least we know that those who do have to work outside are doing what they need to stay cool.


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