How emergency workers prepare for fall football and horrible heat

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CENTER POINT, Ala. (WBRC) - We are on your side with how the scorching heat is impacting football games in your area.

As we first told you earlier this week, many high schools are delaying kick offs 30 minutes to an hour in an effort to find cooler temperatures.

The Jefferson County Public Information Supervisor confirmed Thursday that Clay-Chalkville Middle School cancelled their jamboree game due to the heat.

“We started talking about this on Tuesday with the principal and athletic director at Clay-Chalkville. They thought it would be in their best interest to not have the game Thursday night because of the heat,” said Center Point Fire District Captain Chris Horn.

Still, school trainers are worried about the temperatures players will compete in Friday night.

“They are really concerned about this Friday night.”

Both the high schools inside the Center Point district play away this week, but Captain Horn says emergency crews are required to be at every high school game; and when area schools play, they call in off-duty first responders to ensure player safety.

“The Alabama High School Athletic Association requires a rescue truck to be at every football game. So what we do is we upstaff a rescue truck, and it stays at the game the whole time.”

Captain Horn says their new rescue vehicle will be in use come week two, but he also stresses that if you are attending any of the games this week, you need to prepare before.

“Put the coffee down. Lets get some water in us and lets get some Gatorade in us and make it a day where we can get through the day and be hydrated.”

I also spoke with Fultondale Fire Chief Justin McKenzie to gain an update on how they prepared prior to Fultondale’s kickoff on Thursday night. He says they had extra people working to further ensure everyone’s safety.

He says this year heat related injuries or illnesses are a focus, especially early on with those heat indexes reaching into the triple digits.

Chief McKenzie says heat will also play a factor in how trainers and EMT’s plan to treat patients in the field.

“Most medical situations we might treat the patient in place, but with the heat the way is, we have to get the somewhere cool. So we have already predesignated places that have AC or cooling packs, things like that so we can get them cool. You got to get them out of the environment to be able to treat them in a heat situation and not leave somebody in place,” said Chief McKenzie.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.