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Outdoor workers push through triple-digit temperatures

Jimenez said he carries a cooler packed with ice, water bottles and sometimes fruit such as watermelon.
Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 01:49:30-04

Despite the heat, the job needs to get done.

Adrian Jimenez owns Jimenez General Maintenance, trimming trees and working on landscapes anywhere from San Miguel to Atascadero.

Jimenez says that with everything being so expensive, he can’t work fewer hours. He needs to work his full day to provide for his family.

Jimenez knows his terrain after being in the landscaping business for 20 years.

To protect himself from the heat, Jimenez wears long-sleeved, lightweight jackets, gloves, a hat, and a face mask.

In downtown Atascadero, city workers are also trying to beat the heat.

“A lot of mowing, anything that labor-intensive work that might be out in areas where we are not producing any shade, those are the kind of things we want to get out of the way as quickly as possible," explained Matthew Pigeon, Atascadero Public Works Operations Manager.

How do they do it?

Jimenez said he carries a cooler packed with ice, water bottles and sometimes fruit such as watermelon.

“When we expect hot weather, we do make certain adjustments not necessarily for our schedules but more so in the activities that we are conducting throughout the day,” added Pigeon.

With triple digits in the forecast for several more days, San Luis Obispo County Public Health reminds people working outdoors to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion.

“Heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, clammy skin, fast, weak pulse or nausea, vomiting or fainting,” said Tom Cuddy, SLO County Public Health Public Information Officer. “For heat stroke, symptoms include a high body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, hot, red, dry or moist skin, and you’re not sweating.”

Take extra precautions while on the job, he said.

“Continuous breaks as often as possible. We want our workers, especially those that are outside, to stay safe.”

And, look out for others also dealing with scorching temperatures.

“It's always, find shade,” said Pigeon. “We like to work in a buddy system, so typically we are paired up with one another watching each other's back on a regular basis […] we provide water and ice to our guys to make sure they have adequate hydration.”

SLO County has several cooling sites that will be open through Monday, Sept. 5, 2022:

  • Paso Robles City Hall, 1000 Spring Street, Paso Robles
  • Senior Center of Paso Robles, 270 Scott St, Paso Robles
  • Veterans Center, 240 Scott St, Paso Robles
  • Atascadero Public Library, 6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero