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8 transported, 100+ treated for heat-related illnesses at Va. educators’ event

More than 4,300 people gathered at Virginia Credit Union Stadium for the Stafford County public school systems kickoff event for the new school year


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By EMS1 Staff

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Eight people were transported and more than 100 people were treated for heat-related illnesses at an event for Stafford County public school employees preparing to head back to school, the Free Lance-Star reported.

More than 4,300 people gathered at Virginia Credit Union Stadium for the school systems’ convocation, but it was cut short just two hours in due to the number of people suffering heat-related symptoms.

“People were having heat illness,” Sandra Osborn, spokesperson for Stafford County Public Schools, said. “We made the call at 11:30 to shut down and send everyone to get lunch and then send them home.”

Osborn said the school may have underestimated the amount of water needed to accommodate attendees.

“We were very, very happy Fred city, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and the Stafford EMS set up an operations center,” she said. “So we had planned for that.”

However, area fire departments said they were not aware of the event beforehand.

“I think it caught us just a little bit off guard,” Fredericksburg Fire Chief Michael Jones said. “I think there should have been a more robust idea of planning on this even considering the weather conditions that we had today.”

Stafford County Fire Chief Joseph Cardello echoed Jones’ sentiments.

“There may have been some on-site medical staff, but Stafford County fire and Rescue was not present or made aware of the event,” he said.

The purpose of the event, Osborn said, was to gather “everyone together for one big professional development activity” in preparation for the school year, which begins next week.