Military safety measures on and off the clock during hot summer months - News 11's Arlette Yousif reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - As temperatures rise in the desert southwest, MCAS Yuma begins its "101 Critical Days of Summer" training. During this course, marines learn not only how to avoid heat-health issues while on duty, but also in their free time.
Heat fatigue is an even bigger concern when a service member is alone.
"Each year from fiscal year FY '16 and FY '20 the Department of the Navy lost an average of five sailors and nine marines in off-duty mishaps," says MCAS Yuma COMMSTRAT Director First Lt. Brett Vannier.
Off-duty mishaps… even something seemingly harmless such as going on a hike alone can be dangerous.
First Lt. Vannier says the military looks closely at Yuma's unique temperatures and the possibility of a monsoon when determining physical training activities and schedules.
"Prior to doing that evolution, you’d have to look at that ORM and you’d say ‘okay so what are some of those risks?’ Heat, heatstroke, heat exhaustion. And so you would identify how likely you think that a marine would have some sort of heat injury, and then the severity," says First Lt. Vannier.
First Lt. Vannier says physical activity should be reserved for early morning hours when temperatures are low.
"We do our PFTS stupid early in that morning. They start at five in the morning, so it’s a little bit cooler and that helps avoid some of the heat exhaustion," says First Lt. Vannier.
Other suggestions by the National Weather Service to avoid serious health issues during our hot months are: staying in air-conditioned buildings. Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating drinks such as caffeine and alcohol. And remember children and pets should never be left in the car, even if it’s just for a moment.
Heat-fatigue signs to look for include confusion and dizziness, headache or vomiting, and an individual who may not be sweating while in the heat.
An excessive heat warning is expected all next week according to Rob Fram and the National Weather Service.