This is an excerpt from a media article posted here on FFN:


"three others treated for dehydration "


The article is about wildfire, but it could also apply to structural fires.  Dehydration is serious, think of where it can lead to.


We must always bear in mind that prevention of dehydration is easy.   It must be on our minds at all times at any incident, very much so at a wildfire.  It's a subject that is hammered here all the time - with the need to be aware of our crew mates as well as ourselves.  The need to keep up our fluid intake.  We stllk have people who don't do that one simple thing - even with good crew leaders mentionig it frequently.  So be aware of the problem and don't become a casualty.   


I'm a trainer.  One of the things I say to new members is that if you're at a wildfire and you're not urinating regularly then you are already dehydrate.  If the RH is very low, you may not even realise that your perspiration level is low, so not urinating might be the only telltale sign. 



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The motto in our brigade is "if your not pissing you havent had enough to drink."
As soon as i get on the truck i grab a bottle of water and dink it on the way to the fire. Fire ban days or high alert days i start drinking water and staminade early so that im ready when the bells ring. No point starting the fight on the back foot. I only have staminade when i feel like i need it as too much makes me sick/headches.

Dehydration at structure fires is also a big issue so treat it the same way as wildfire.
I just read a great article on this in the new WILDFIRE Magazine today.I started keeping bottles of water on our rig a couple years ago and I carry quite a bit with me.I'm the crew boss for our crew and I want to make sure all of them stay hydrated.I had a couple bad experiences with dehydration years ago and ended up getting IV fluids for quite a while both times.Not a fun experience.I don't want any of my folks to have to go through that.
Carrying bottled water and electrolyte drinks is a very good idea. Have 2 boxes of 600ml (20oz) bottles of water with a few electrolyte drinks thrown in on the truck at all times and have recenly made a holder for a esky so we can carry more when needed. Even with all that water when the fires are going hard most times the first crews on scene generally come out dehydrated because they run out of drinking water and there isn't any drinking water at the refill points yet.
Yes, we have always been taught that before you are aware of it you may be already in the state of the warmer months we are told to "preload" with fluids enroute to structure fires....we all keep 1 liter bottle of fluids (usually sport drinks) in one of our boots....when get get suited up we take the bottle and down it enroute to the has worked out well for our people and we also stress to continue to drink and reinforce visits to rehab regularly......
I can't tell you how many times I've been out at a live burn in training or doing some other pretty physical activity and people start falling out because of dehydration. Imagine: these people knew what activities were going to be performed and still failed to properly hydrate; probably had a few too many drinks the night before. I can't imagine being caught in that situation when you don't know when you're going to be going out.

Even when I'm on my way to a job or something, I try to grab a bottle of water from the fridge to drink on the way to the station or as I'm getting on the truck. I was in the service for 8 years and one thing I learned and instilled in all of my soldiers..... DRINK WATER!
Thanks for the replies - it's good to see that there hasn't been a single clown saying it's not an issue!

Drink often, all the time. It's not good to drink only the sports drinks, yes they will keep you hydrated, but they can cause other issues with your body - drink mostly water. Unfortunately, there canot be given a constant ratio of water to sports drink, the drinks are different; just make sure that plenty of plain water is included in the mix.

My own method (hasn't failed so far...) is to use chilled soda water, either by itself or with fruit juice cordial, the cordial at about .20% of the suggested mix, as my standard drink through the day.

As Andrew has said, we keep a supply of water and hydrolite on all our vehiicles (it's a fire service requirement), in summer we try to pollish off a bottle on the way to.

Individuals failing to keep themselves hydrated at all times can be due to poor training or stupidity. While at a fire or other incident it comes down to poor leadership - the crew leader/officer/IC must ensure adequate fluid intake for all. It's part of crew safety.
Most times if one of us needs a drink we grab a armful of drinks for everyone else.

Remember to drink yourself and remind the others in the crew to drink.
But remember to are dehydrated BEFORE you are thirsty
Exactly Paul. That is another thing we teach - 'if you are thirsty it's too late, you are dehydrated'.

As Andrew said, one person goes to get a drink, they will grab a bottle for everyone else, often asking on their way 'do you want water or sports drink?' At structure fires we will always have someone grab a box and take it around to give all crew members (we also offer drinks to police and ambos on-scene) a drink. Let's face it, getting out of bed at oh-dark-thirty and going to a call your body will be thirsty, you will need a drink sooner rather than later!
Tony that's why we "pre-load" enroute.....

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