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Summer Heads Out with a Heat Warning | News

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Summer Heads Out with a Heat Warning
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Construction workers, firefighters and motorcycle cops don't have a choice when it comes to working outside, it's part of their job.

By noon on Friday, the temperature was already at 100 degrees in the shade.

"Really, it's just miserable and you can't do much about it. Especially when you're wearing more than 40 pounds of gear and straddling a 650 pound motorcycle," said Sgt. Dave Smith, North Las Vegas Police.

The motorcycle's engine runs at about 265 degrees making the cycle a real hot seat for officers. "You feel the heat on your legs and boots," said Sgt. Smith. He even has the burn marks on his boots to prove it.

On this day, Sgt. Smith and his fellow North Las Vegas traffic officers are enforcing a school zone in front of Mohave High School.

"It gets all of us at least once every summer when we don't drink enough water. Our hearts start beating too fast, we stop sweating, get light hearted, dizzy, and nauseated," said Officer Ty Tolar, North Las Vegas Police.

The trick -- officers say -- is to get out of the heat at least once every hour or two before those symptoms set in.

"If we get hot, tired and thirsty, we can take a break and one of our favorite tricks is to go to a 7-11 or a convenience store and sit in their freezer and drink a bottle of water," said Smith.

But even after 16 sweltering summers, Sgt. Smith says he never thinks about hanging it up because of the heat.

"Never. I really enjoy riding the bike. I enjoy working traffic so we tough it out for six months out of the year to get to those months when you have really nice weather to ride in," he said.

So is there any set policy mandating how often officers stand down to cool down? Not really. Eyewitness News checked with all the local police jurisdictions and the consensus is to leave it up to the individual officers to decide for themselves when to take a break. Firefighters on the other hand are rotated out after just 20 minutes because of the extreme heat on scene when battling a blaze.

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