According to Denell Boyd with the Cobb County Fire Department, her department was called to Cantrell Stadium in Powder Springs on the McEachern High campus around 10:46 a.m. The temperature was around 81 degrees when Cobb Fire units got to the stadium.
“Puckett EMS was on the scene … they kept getting several calls so that’s when they called us,” she said.
Boyd said emergency personnel are typically on the scene of large events like graduations in Cobb.
Six units from Cobb Fire responded to the scene and while not all people were transported, Boyd did say that “several” wanted to be checked out.
“They weren’t treated or transported because they signed a release form,” she said. “When you get people in a crowd and the air isn’t moving a lot, you’re going to have some heat-related issues.”
The graduation ceremony, which began at 10 a.m., has always been held in the football stadium according to Doug Goodwin, a spokesman with the district. The ceremony did get finished and was not postponed due to the emergencies.
“In my eight years here, I don’t recall it happening but that doesn’t mean it didn’t,” he said. “It’s just a warm day and (attendees) are sitting on concrete bleachers.”
He was unsure the exact number of students graduating from McEachern this morning but was working on getting that number.
Boyd said there were about 2,000 present during the ceremony and that around noon they were all leaving the service.
The graduation at McEachern is one of three in Cobb County that will be held outside. Both Marietta High and Allatoona High’s services will be held outside Saturday morning, Marietta at 9 and Allatoona at 10.
“The main thing is, drink plenty of fluids, stay hydrated,” said Boyd. “Find shade if you can, some people have umbrellas although in a big crowd it isn’t practical … bring a water bottle if you can, you can put it on your neck to the keep the body temperature down.”