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Multiple students treated for heat-related illness during ceremony at McDonogh School

More than a dozen students get heat-related illness at McDonogh School
More than a dozen students get heat-related illness at McDonogh School 02:34

OWINGS MILLS -- Multiple students received medical treatment after overheating during a Memorial Day ceremony, according to the McDonogh School. 

Crews from the Baltimore County Fire Department responded to the school just before 9:15 a.m. on Thursday for a report that one student fainted.

"I do believe this is just an exhaustion type of incident and fortunately no one went to the hospital," said Chief Travis Francis, a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Fire Department. "When we sent those additional resources and they arrived we had between 15 and 20 students not feeling well. We just believe the kids were on their feet for just a little bit too long."

When the ambulance arrived, it found many more students were feeling sick and backup was called. 

Francis said 13 students were treated for heat exhaustion.

The ceremony began at 9 a.m., according to the school's calendar online. 

Francis said the ceremony began outside before moving into the gymnasium because of the weather. 

All students who were feeling ill were treated at the school and several others went home with their parents. None were transported to the hospital.

Crews swept the gym and tested for any toxic substances, including carbon monoxide. All tests came back negative.

This incident was deemed a "mass casualty" by Baltimore County Fire, meaning there were multiple patients who needed help. This term does not qualify for any injuries, according to Francis.

"When we're looking at 15 to 20 possible patients, we want to get our resources there early, instead of late," Francis said. "So our commanders are able to make that call and that brings additional resources immediately, and then we can downgrade and return units to their station if they're not needed."

The McDonogh School released a statement saying students were safe. 

This statement was also posted on the school's website homepage: "All students are safe and cared for: Earlier today, during the Memorial Day Ceremony, several students overheated.  Paramedics were contacted, as were parents of the students impacted.  All students are safe, and those who needed it have received the necessary care," the statement read.

With the summer weather here to stay, Francis said it is important to keep you and your kids hydrated to avoid heat-related illness.

"It was humid today, very hot yesterday, it's coming into graduation season. A lot of these are outside hydrate, hydrate before you get to these events, hydrate journey and then hydrate after," Francis said.

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