RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As many of us try our best to avoid the heat, the same can not be said for our first responders.

CBS 17 spoke with the fire chief for Northern Wake County and a Battalion Chief with Fuquay-Varina Fire Department. Both shared techniques on what fire fighters go through on a daily basis as it relates to dealing with fire during the summer.

“When we know it’s going to be one of those days that the heat index is over 100, or close to it, we really try to get the guys to prep,” said Battalion Chief Garland Johnston.

During the span of a year fire officials go through training where they carry heavy equipment and wear several layers of clothing. They also learn how to properly do their jobs in extreme weather conditions.

Chief Scottie Harris said it’s one thing they stress the most.

“The biggest thing we try to preach is hydration, hydration, hydration and stay ahead of the game,” Chief Harris said.

Chief Johnston added that summer heat always makes things a little different, especially when responding to fire in which a number of agencies are utilized.

“If we had a fire today, I would more than likely call in additional units. When they come out, they take all of their gear off, they get hydrated, and get their vitals checked,” he said.

They also work with a list of EMS and other first responders to work with fire officials to lend a hand. It’s a tool that they use year-round but nevertheless, it comes in handy during the summer.

Chief Harris said they have already responded to a number of heat-related calls.

“They range from anything from a breathing difficulty, because of the environment itself, to starting to experience heat exposure whether its heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” Chief Harris said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Human and Health services, between May 1 and June 13, there were 787 emergency department visits for heat-related illnesses.

Chief Harris also shared the common cause of fires during the summer.

“Overloading outlets for one whether people are plugging in different fans and different things trying to stay cool and mitigate it—and plus you’re drawing so much energy in itself whether you’re running the air conditioner or different things,” Harris said.

Both agencies said the best way to deal with this heat is to hydrate and if you have to be outdoors, go in the early mornings or late evenings.

The American Red Cross has also provided a list of way families can be proactive in keeping cool during the summer.