Smoky Air is Affecting Outdoor Jobs
The smoke has been affecting the Truckee Meadows' air quality for more than a week. But some people have had brave the elements because of their occupations.
Tuesday, September 23rd 2014, 3:50 pm PDT by
Tuesday, September 23rd 2014, 3:55 pm PDT
Working outside was a little bit easier, Tuesday, but there was still plenty of smoke in the air. Employees at Reno-Tahoe International Airport are taking precautions to deal with the unhealthy air that's been plaguing the valley.
"Our security specialists, out here on the front curb, were wearing their masks because it was just that tough to breathe," Brian Kulpin, Airport Spokesman said. "Yet, their job requires them to be outside."
Kulpin says their employees take safety very seriously. Especially, those with physical jobs. Security specialists patrol the area on bikes and on foot.
"They'll walk nine miles during their shift," Kulpin said. "That's a heck of a cardio workout for most of us."
While security specialists do spend the day outside, they are allowed to go inside for a little while and keep an eye on things through the glass doors. That allows them to escape the smoke and get some clean air. The airport cannot operate without some of these workers. There's a wide variety of outdoor jobs that keep it running efficiently.
"Anybody who works for the airlines, who is loading bags on and off the aircraft, they're out there and that's a workout," Kulpin said. "You're breathing heavy as you're moving some of those bags that can weigh more than 50 pounds."
Construction work can also be strenuous when air quality is bad.
"In the last week, it's been really tough on these guys," Chris Ketels, Director of Customer Service for KDH Builders said. "You see a lot more water, a lot more breaks from them."
Independent contractors have the option of taking a day off if they think it's necessary. They've kept on working but they're mixing things up.
"When the house is finished, we're closing the windows for the guy who is working inside and then running the AC instead of having the windows open," Ketels said.
Still, their employees say they're used to working in the elements, and say the smoke is just something they have to deal with.
"A cold day, a rainy day, a hot day, a smoky day, we don't like the smoky days anymore than we like the hot or the cold," Ketels said.