25 people treated for heat exhaustion at Hampton’s Slide the City event

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-20 21:31:57-04

Hampton, Va. - Hampton Fire and Rescue say 25 people were treated for heat exhaustion during Saturday's Slide the City event.

Fire and Rescue officials say that technical difficulties pushed back the slide start time by at least two hours, leaving hundreds of people standing in the hot sun.

"We didn't expect the weather to be a problem and with the long lines, people waiting, and the humidity it all played a factor," says Anthony Chittum, Battalion Chief. "They were all in their bathing suits and they were prepared to get wet, so they didn't exactly bring shade with them to get out of the sun."

Fortunately, no one had to be transported from the event, but being the only fire department at Slide the City, Hampton Fire and Rescue had to take action.

They sprayed water on the crowd as a way to keep as many people cool as possible, and called in back-up from two neighboring fire departments.

"They brought in what's known as a Mass Casualty Incident Truck, it allows us to get some people out of the sun into some air conditioning, get them some treatment and water, and they're able to cool down and come back out," says Chittum.

By Saturday afternoon, both the slide and long line were moving. Participants said the wait time was only a couple of minutes towards the end of the event.

"It seems like it's going great now," says Chittum. "We've had it as under control as possible."