alabama fans, sorority girls

There’s no secret about it: Saturday’s home opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium was an absolute scorcher with the temperatures reading 97 degrees at kickoff and a heat index of 107.

First responders are calling this past Saturday’s game the busiest ever for them, meaning they responded to more calls and treated more people than ever before because of the heat.

Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service provided us with some of those numbers. There were 91 documented people seen in first aid and over 100 documented calls to Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue. Beyond that, a normal busy day at a game produces 25-30 calls. Saturday, more than 150 patients were seen because many of them did not go through dispatch.

Twenty-four people were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center from the game. The need was so great, Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue had to call in additional units. The cooling stations installed inside the stadium did work, but first responders say they were overwhelmed with fans at all times.

The vast majority of these cases were heat-related, with fans exasperated by alcohol and pre-existing medical conditions.

“I would never tell someone not to come to the games because we need fans at our games,” Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue EMS Chief Chris Holloway said. “But if you have a pre-existing medical condition that is going to be worsened by being in the heat, then take all of that in to consideration. Think about that you are going to have to walk a half a mile or more. There’s going to be steps. There is going to be physical exertion that you are not counting on. It’s not like going to the movies.”

Students who went to the game said people were dropping like flies.

“I had to sit down immediately,” Carlisle Badey, a UA sophomore from Atlanta said. “People were fanning me off. It was bad.”

This weekend’s game is at 2:30 p.m. in South Carolina against the Gamecocks, and ‘Bama will play at home the following week at 11 a.m. when they take on Southern Miss.

“The heat was excruciating,” Claudia Ray, a UA sophomore from North Carolina said.

Remember to drink plenty of water before and during exposure to high temperatures. Also, try to wear lightweight and light colored clothing.

Categories: Archives, Local News