Fort Bragg Paratroopers Treated for Heat Exhaustion

(Image: U.S. Army)

Eleven paratroopers were taken to a hospital and seven others treated for heat exhaustion Monday morning after practicing for a ceremony on Fort Bragg, officials said.

The soldiers were released from Womack Army Medical Center later in the day with normal core temperatures, according to Lt. Col. Michael Burns, an 82nd Airborne Division spokesman.

"Everybody's OK," Burns said. "We identified the problem and acted on it."

About 1,800 paratroopers were rehearsing on Fort Bragg's Pike Field for a change of command and change of responsibility ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Burns said. The temperature was about 85 degrees at about 9:30 a.m. when the soldiers started having issues. Some of the paratroopers were lightheaded and some were dizzy, but nobody threw up or had a seizure.

Burns said medics who were at the rehearsal began treating the soldiers. Fort Bragg emergency workers also responded, Burns said.

Division officials, out of caution, have decided to limit the remaining rehearsals to key leaders, Burns said.

On Monday, the soldiers were given the opportunity to go into shaded areas during breaks in the rehearsal, Burns said. They also were encouraged to drink water, he said.

The 82nd's Combat Aviation Brigade is scheduled to change commanders and command sergeants major during the Wednesday ceremony.

During that type of ceremony, soldiers stand in formation on the field for much of the time. They stand at attention or at parade rest while commanders perform an inspection and give remarks. The soldiers also march past the commanders.

This article is written by Steve DeVane from The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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