Wild Adventures park-goers suffer from heat exhaustion - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wild Adventures park-goers suffer from heat exhaustion

July 25, 2004

Sylvester- There is no word yet on just how many people suffered from heat-related injuries, but Lowndes County officials say ambulances made at least ten trips to South Georgia Medical Center.

Northside Baptist Church Youth Pastor John Evans is still upset about his youth group's trip to Wild Adventures."We had three people that went to the hospital in an ambulance, and we had a couple of our youth that were in the first aid with various heat-related illnesses, and it was just a bad day," he says. < /STRONG>

Evans says the lines for concession stands and restaurants at the park were extremely long around lunch time.

"In my opinion there were way too many people in the park for the facilities that were available to serve the people. To stand in line 45 minutes to an hour just to get a drink is unacceptable."

But when the youth group started looking for water elsewhere, Evans says they ran into more problems.

"The drink machines weren't working properly. Some of the water fountains weren't working at all."

Twelve year old Katie Tyson was part of Evans' group.

"We tried to get something to drink, but the lines were way too long and the machines only took coins and we only had dollars. We were in the line to get something to drink and it was 30 minutes, and that's when it happened," she says.

Tyson fainted and had to be treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion.

"I felt like we were in a trap with no where to go and water would have been the escape route. If we could have just had access to water we could have stayed there the rest of the day," adds Evans.

The youth pastor says the medical personnel did a great job treating the patients, but he says Saturday the park was just mismanaged.

"There should have been a contingency plan in place for these overflow crowds just to hydrate the people.

Tyson now has advice to anyone else going to the park on a hot day.

"Just drink a lot of water and just stay in the shade," she says.

We have tried to contact the management at Wild Adventures but they could not be reached for comment.

Posted at 3:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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