Heat emergencies at Missouri football game sees sharp increase

Police reported 120 incidents, roughly 60 more than the week prior.
Freshman Connor Weatherby paints his face using his friend's sunglasses as a mirror before Missouri's football game against Toledo on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. MU police and emergency personnel responded to more than 120 medical emergencies at the game.

MU police and emergency personnel responded to more than 120 medical emergencies at the Sept. 7 football game against Toledo, setting a record, MUPD spokesman Brian Weimer said.

A week earlier, the department responded to 46 of such calls, which led to six hospitalizations, Weimer said. Hospitalizations for Sept. 7 could not be tracked, he said. Last season, there were 109 heat-related incidents.

"People need to realize that they need to heed the warnings," Weimer said.

Emergency personnel includes MUPD officers, EMTs and firefighters. When they respond to a heat-related medical emergency, they provide water and a cool place for fans to recover, Weimer said.

Both weeks, Mizzou Athletics sent out general releases cautioning the public on the high temperatures. The department provided water jugs, misters and ice cups for the second game in a row, a release stated.

"Athletics has done a good job making resources available to fans," Weimer said.

The game, which kicked off at 2:30 p.m., saw temperatures in the 90s. Athletics spokesman Chad Moller said game times are determined by network television schedules.

The National Weather Service recorded the highest temperature at 95 degrees and on-field heat reached more than 140 degrees.

It was too hot for some, as fans headed for the shade of the concourse and the air conditioning of home at halftime with the score 17-9.

"I was thinking about my personal health at the time," sophomore Missy Davis said about her decision to leave at halftime. "I left because it was so hot."

Davis was front row of the student section, but by the end of the half, she said she was dizzy. After seeking shelter in the concourse, she said she could not bring herself to go back down to her seat.

Marching Mizzou, whose members dressed in polo shirts instead of the full uniform for the Murray State game, wore full uniforms, which including a black jacket and hat, during the Toledo game.

"We are all pretty used to marching in the heat, but it was a tad ridiculous," Marching Mizzou piccolo player Allison Mikesell said. "We are not used to being that hot in the stands. Everybody still had a positive and upbeat spirit. We had water and fruit."

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