The official start of summer is still a week away, but the heat is already on. No one knows that better than firefighters. But one thing people may not realize is how rigorous and how hot the job may get for firefighters in Jackson.
Relief driver operator Jason McWillie has been with the Jackson Fire Department for years and has become seasoned to the heat and the job.
"Temperatures in the 90s and possibly the hundreds, putting on 50 pounds of gear, an additional hundred or two or three hundred degrees inside a house fire; it can be hard, it can be rough," said McWillie.
He doesn't just wear this gear for fires, he wears it almost every day. McWillie and other fighters put on the 50 pounds for emergencies and anything else that needs their help.
"Depending on what kind of calls we get, we may have to suit up and put on full gear. So it's not always fire situations where we're putting on full gear. Sometimes it's what they call rescue situations we're putting on full gear," added McWillie.
Boots, jacket, an air tank with a mask, and the helmet; even I put on the gear to see what these guys go through, and I can definitely say it felt like a workout.
But being that this heat is not a one-man show, being a firefighter means you are never alone on the job.
"We're a team, whether it's three of us four of us, or 20," said McWillie. "It takes a team effort when it comes to firefighting. None of us are superheroes. We do what we can do, but yeah it takes a team effort especially in these hot temperatures."
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715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201