The Hot Talk on a Mission that Never Stops

  • Published
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

There is no denying the heat in Arizona, especially after breaking the record of 19 consecutive days of temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit! Running from the heat may seem to be the smartest choice, however it is not always feasible to have the luxury of being in cool conditions. Having the right information will help you from being the next causality from a heat related injury.

When it comes to knowing heat illnesses, the three H's are crucial!
-Heat Cramps
-Heat Exhaustion
-Heat Stroke (Medical Emergency! Call 911!!)

Without proper precautions and care, these stages can progress quickly! The most dangerous of the three being 'Heat Stroke', which can lead to permanent brain damage or death!

Hydration is a huge factor when it comes to precautionary measures, especially during these hotter months, but proper hydration should be practiced year-round! Water and some sport drinks containing electrolytes are great ways to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

Unfortunately, caffeinated drinks do not count as proper hydration, so limit your enjoyment of these drinks such as coffee and energy drinks and substitute them for water! If you are thirsty, it is already a late sign/symptom that you are dehydrated. Clear and copious amount of urine is a good indication that you are hydrated!

Your local Bioenvironmental Engineering office works with the Command Post to help keep our base aware of the flag conditions and provide hydration and work/rest cycles recommendations! Following these hydration and work/rest cycles are crucial to your health and the mission.

Ensure careful planning and take proper safety measures, such as working in the shade and wearing sunblock, to protect everyone on base! It is important to be able to recognize signs and symptoms heat-related illnesses, not only in yourself, but also in your fellow wingman.

Here are some warning signs of a heat related illness:
-Slurred speech, confusion, or dizziness (Medical Emergency!)
-Excessive sweating
-Weak, rapid pulse
-Nausea or vomiting
-Muscle pain or spasms

If you suspect heat related injury, unless it is a medical emergency (stated above), it is recommended to move the individual (or yourself) out of the sun, into shade or a cool air condition environment.

Have the individual drink (if conscious and able to safely swallow), a cool, non-alcoholic beverage, which will help regulate and stabilize body temperature.

The Heat in Arizona is no joke! Please be safe and do yourself a favor; stay hydrated, follow your work rest/cycle, and look out for your airmen/wingmen! Keep yourself as a vital part of the mission instead of becoming the next hot topic!