BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Chris Holloway, the EMS Chief for Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue, told WBRC as many as a hundred medical personnel were in or around Bryant Denny Stadium Saturday for Saturday’s home opener.
He admitted they still needed more help to deal with high number of people who couldn’t handle the heat. He said the temperature was 97 degrees at the three o’clock kick off. The heat index was more than 100 degrees.
First responders made contact with more than 150 people who complained about heat related illness according to Holloway. They treated some people inside the stadium during the game and others outside who were tailgating.
30 people in and around the stadium were taken to DCH Regional Medical Center for treatment. Water stations and fanning areas inside Bryant Denny helped cool off some people, but not all of them.
“Saturday, we just got overwhelmed. It was hotter than we’re used to being and there were more people that needed help. And you can only get so many people around the fan,” Holloway explained.
Holloway says they could add more fans to the east side of the stadium to cool off people. That side gets more direct sunlight during afternoon games and has less shade.
Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue could have three additional engine companies and two more rescue units work Alabama games. On Monday, Alabama’s President and Athletics Director issued a joint statement complaining about the number of early day games Alabama played in September over the last few years.