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Question
Posted by: Jay | 2020/02/10

Firefighters going from warm to cold conditions

looking for expert advice. Are there health effects when firefighters go from very warm in fires, to very cold outside in the winter and take off their gear? Background: at the conclusion of fighting a fire, new protocol is to decontaminate by removing soiled firefighting gear prior to getting into the fire truck so you don't contaminate the truck. When it is cold outside, you go from warm and likely wet from sweat, to civilian cloths in cold weather, back to the inside of a truck. (1-2 minutes of exposure) The question is, are there any significant medical concerns with this drastic short term change in temperature? Thanks for your medical advice.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAllergy expert
- 2020/03/05

Sudden changes in temperature can cause skin rashes. I don't have any experience with health effects of heating and cooling in fire fighters. Perhaps contact the Australian medical authorities as they have a great deal of experience with the intense heat of the Eucalyptus bush fires that have been raging in Australia. Perhaps check with the Australian Family Physician website.

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