Fewer fans treated for heat illness at this year's opener

2013-08-31T23:30:00Z 2013-09-05T11:53:06Z Fewer fans treated for heat illness at this year's openerBy RILEY JOHNSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
August 31, 2013 11:30 pm  • 

Medical teams treated more than 90 fans as Nebraska opened the football season in scorching late-August temperatures Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Of the 91 confirmed medical calls, about two-thirds were heat-related, and four people were transported to area hospitals, said Sgt. Zach Byers of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police.

Nearly 300 fans suffered from heat illnesses at last year's season opener, which was played in the afternoon.

University officials prepared for the heat by adding portable cooling stations and allowing fans to bring water bottles into the stadium. A week of warm temperatures allowed officials time to warn fans to hydrate and avoid alcohol before arriving at the game.

“I think people paid attention,” said Sue Alby, a Red Cross volunteer at the stadium’s southeast medical station.

Red Cross volunteers at the southeast medical station treated everyone “from nine to 80 years old,” Cornhusker Marching Band members to dancers, Alby said.

Saturday's high at the Lincoln Airport reached 96 degrees, but the temperature had dropped to 90 by kickoff just after 7 p.m.

It was the ninth day in a row when temperatures reached at least 90 in Lincoln.

“Our summer has hit us now,” said Julie White, a registered nurse and volunteer at the station.

Reach Riley Johnson at 402-473-7306 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

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