Heat-related illnesses spike with temperatures

Eight fair-goers were taken to the hospital in one day this week for heat-related illnesses, and officials are asking that people to take steps to avoid becoming overheated while partaking in the food, exhibits and rides at the Johnson County fair.

A team of first responders, led by Greenwood fire marshal Tracy Rumble, are on site to help anyone who becomes ill. Franklin police officers are also patrolling the fairgrounds on bikes, watching for crime and responding to any emergencies.

The spike in heat related illnesses, such as fainting, on Tuesday came as a bit of a surprise, given the first responders had only dealt with one heat-related emergency call the first three days of the fair, Rumble said. He attributed the problem to high temperatures and people not always being as hydrated as they should be.

“People don’t understand that pop doesn’t replace good hydration,” he said.

One person needed help on Wednesday due to a heat-related illness, Rumble said.

The first half of Thursday also went well, with no reports of any heat-related illnesses through 4:30 p.m., he said.

Temperatures have hovered around 90 degrees this week. The heat index hit 105 degrees Thursday.

If a person starts having the symptoms of a heat-related illness, such as dizziness or headaches, they should get to somewhere cool, find something to drink and call 911 if necessary, Rumble said.

Emergency dispatchers will be able to contact first responders at the fairgrounds, Rumble said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.