University allows changes at first Illini game due to heat

Published 08/31 2013 06:10PM

Updated 09/03 2013 11:42AM

CHAMPAIGN -- EMS, police and the fire department joined thousands of Illini fans Saturday to help combat the hottest day of the year. The football season kicked off, but with temperatures soaring into triple digits, emergency crews were on high alert. As WCIA-3's Megan Brilley witnessed, a lot of people over-heated.

The ambulance took away a few people and there were constant reports of people passing out. Emergency crews spread throughout campus to keep people safe.

"It feels like 100 degrees outside. The sun was just beaming down on me. Back covered in sweat. You could see everyone was just sweating all around."

"It's hot. It's hot."

But tens of thousands of people braved it anyway.

"Big Illini fans you gotta come to the games no matter what the temperature is."

Mixed within the orange-and-blue were several EMS teams; one at nearly every stadium exit.

"We're just here to watch in case there are any heat emergencies."

During the first half there weren't any, but that quickly changed.

"Alright we just got a call so we gotta go."

EMS responded to dozens of calls of people passing out or feeling dizzy. Because of the heat, the university bent the rules and allowed fans to bring in their own water. Exits were also equipped with mist-stations and buses were parked along Kirby.

"I think it's fantastic. It gives everybody a chance to cool down."

The temperature wasn't forgiving, but that didn't stop fans from filling nearly every seat.

"No matter what, we're always going to come out and support the Illini. No matter if it's hot, cold, dry, wet. We're always gonna be out here."

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