October 10, 2014 (Spring Valley)---The San Diego Gas and Electric Company and Farmers Insurance donated a total of $14,000 to purchase Ice Machines for 5 of the Fire Stations within the San Miguel Fire District. The generation of a large supply of ice is a simple but effective tool in keeping Firefighters hydrated and cooler.
The San Diego Gas and Electric Company donated $10,000 and Farmers Insurance donated the remaining $4,000 needed to complete the purchase.
In an effort to better protect our First Responders, the San Miguel Fire District set a goal to install ice machines in five of the District’s stations. Every morning, and as many time a day or night as necessary, on duty crews will fill coolers with ice, water and other products to help stay hydrated and supply electrolytes. This is a key effort in preventing overheating and its effects.
During an emergency it is necessary to keep every Firefighter on the line for as long as possible. If they fall, gaps in our defense open, allowing for a possible greater progression of a fire, which in turn creates more risk for the community. Keeping our First Responders hydrated on the line is good for them, good for the community.
Firefighters are often exposed to extreme temperatures in excess of 2192 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat exposure effects may occur from hot air, radiant heat, contact with hot surfaces and internal heat produced by the body during physical activity, which cannot be cooled during fire. On average, wildland Firefighters need 4 to 6 liters of water a day to stay hydrated. Studies have shown that firefighters drink from 200 milliliters to more than 1 liter per hour over a work shift along a fire line. When heat gain is greater than heat loss, firefighters are at risk of suffering heat-related illnesses.
The San Miguel Fire District, through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE, provides suppression, prevention and emergency medical services to approximately 134,000 residents. Our suppression force responds to approximately 11,000 plus fire and medical-related emergencies annually.