The sun has been out here in South Georgia lately, and the humidity has been up. That's a dangerous combination.
On Tuesday, Darton wrester Alex Washington succumbed to the heat at 4:55 pm while taking part in a five-mile team run, and was rushed to Phoebe Putney Hospital, where he remains. He has developed pneumonia.
On Wednesday, Darton wrestlers Jaden Smith and Benjamin Richards succumbed to the heat at 5:00 pm and 5:25 pm and were rushed to Phoebe Putney. Smith spent Wednesday night in the hospital and was released.
Richards, a freshman from Tampa, Florida, remains hospitalized at Phoebe Putney in critical condition with kidney problems.
Another wrestler, Jason Peters, was injured by a weight that fell on his head, and was treated and released.
"The health and safety of our student athletes is a priority, we have protocols in place for dealing with heat illness, and heat strokes, and those student athletes here at Darton that have suffered heat illness, we wish them a speedy recovery," said Mike Keifer, Athletic Director, Darton State College.
Darton State wrestler Anthony Smith says he drinks his water while working out because he says he knows the importance of staying hydrated, he says he doesn't want to end up in his teammates shoes.
"You got to be hydrated when it starts, you got to be hydrated during it, you got to be hydrated after," said Smith.
"Heat index has been way above 100 on a lot of days," said Kenny Nolf, EMS Assistant Supervisor, Dougherty County EMS.
And that has led paramedics like Kenny Nolf to respond to heat illness calls, three times this week at Darton State College. "Matter of fact, just this week we've had two or three at Darton College, some of the wrestlers you would think would be in pretty good shape," said Nolf.
EMS officials are encouraging everyone to follow in Smith's footsteps while working out. "You need to hydrate, you don't need to hydrate the day of, you need to hydrate the day before," said Nolf.
So you won't have to be transported in the back of one these ambulances to the nearest hospital.
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