Central Indiana employees work in sweltering conditions during heat wave

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — We’re officially starting to cool off here in central Indiana. The heat warning expired. This heat wave has made it feel like a long four days, but what about the people who are stuck working in hot spots around the city?

When it feels like 100 degrees outside, imagine working in close corners next to a pizza oven where the temperature reads over 600 degrees. Although we may all have thought about it, you shouldn’t call in sick to work because it’s hot. If you work at a pizza place, a dry cleaners or a valet, you know how to beat the heat while on the clock.

“We probably do about 50 smalls and maybe 100 larges,” said Ken Reinstrom, the Owner of Byrne’s Grilled Pizza.

At Byrne’s Grilled Pizza on the north side the ovens are constantly running.  Employees say that makes heat waves like this dangerous. Thankfully, they’ve found ways to deal with the extreme heat. Just this year, the restaurant had to add a new awning to block the sun from the entrance.  Recently, the owner also added a second air conditioner in the kitchen.

“We also have a food truck and that’s also out on the road, and that can be very hot and sticky environment as well,” said Reinstrom.

Valet workers like Jaron Jibbs may not work in a kitchen, but he’s feeling the heat. He says the key is to stay hydrated.

“We’ve just been out here all day,” said Jibbs. “We’re always running, rain or shine, winter or summer. We’re always running.”

Jibbs can’t let the heat get to him as he’s in charge of helping the hundreds of guests. On Sunday morning he assisted 200 guests checking out at the Omni, a task that can’t stop because of the temperature outside.

“They say themselves they’re too hot to go park their own car, so they’re like, here you go take care of my car for me, and here’s a little more money since you’re out here sweating and working hard,” said Jibbs.

Although this heat wave is on its way out, employees around central Indiana are enjoying the cool down before the next batch of hot days returns.

“It’s going to be cool next week, it’ll get hot again before the summer is over,” said Reinstrom.

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