PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–At least one roofing company postponed its jobs on Monday because of the heat. Meantime, Philadelphia schools are dismissing early Tuesday due to the high temperatures. But many workers have to endure the weather anyway.
Where food meets flames, dealing with heat is just part of the job for Sean McCann.
“It gets pretty hot, you know? Just try to keep your mind on enjoyable things, think about Antarctica or something,” said McCann, who works at a food truck on Spring Garden Street.
Inside the food truck in which he works, our thermometer registered more than 118 degrees. Over the stove, it hit nearly 350 degrees!
“I just drink a lot of water,” McCann said.
But fellow food truck operator, Mohamed Helali, is fasting for Ramadan and having no water or food until sundown.
“We have some trees and a breeze and when we have this fan it helps a little bit,” Helali said.
But they’re on ground level.
Window washing technicians, like those from Jenkintown Building Services, say they have to deal with even higher temperatures.
“It can get pretty brutal up there. A 100 degree day can easily be 110-115 on a roof, even more in some cases,” said supervisor Carlos Cesbedes. “Some of the guys will wear light hoods to protect them when they’re working, sunscreen of course.”
Cesbedes says crews get creative and try to work around the sun.
And while workers in some fields can postpone jobs or leave early when temperatures spike too high, firefighters don’t have a choice.
“There’s a little bit of an extra burden on the body with the heat and high humidity. You’re not able to regulate your temperature as normally as you would, especially with the extra gear we wear,” said Battalion Chief Tim McGeady of the Cherry Hill Fire Department.
That gear adds about 70 extra pounds, says McGeady, who has been with the department for 23 years.
“You hydrate and just approach it with some common sense,” McGeady said.
Firefighter Nicholas Fiorentini says walking through fire isn’t the toughest part of the job on excessively hot days.
“It definitely plays a toll on you. Your body’s already hot from the day, it just gets hotter when you go in the fire, and it’s harder to get relief once you come out because it’s still 100 degrees outside,” Fiorentini said.