BBQ Sent Me to the ER Part 2

By: Kathy T 

You can read Part 1 of Kathy’s Post here

Jessica, an AMT (Assign Medical Transport) came over and did a body check. She got me up and, because I couldn’t walk, two people helped me in to a cool camper.   I was dizzy and dry heaving and couldn’t breath every well.  Jessica and an EMT named Francis took vitals and determined my blood pressure was dangerously high- 200 over 120. I couldn’t see and I felt so ill.

They decided to call an ambulance and they reassured me I did nothing wrong! Sometimes heat stroke cannot be prevented.  I had done all the right things. I ate and drank enough for the day . The heat at the cook off was over 115 on the field with cookers and my body could not handle it.

I started to cry. I was upset, mad and worried all at the same time. I was upset because we tried so hard to have a good weekend. I was mad because I didn’t want to get sick and I was worried because our things would be left behind.  Jessica and the others from the Brookline Fire Department reassured me it would be ok and someone would help my husband get to the hospital.

I then was to be moved to the ambulance. My husband was near me telling me that another fire fighter from Brookline Fire Department would ride along in our van to show him how to get to the hospital.   I was crying even harder. I felt like I had made a scene. I had taken all the people who help Brookline Fire Department away from their major fundraising  event.

When the ambulance door closed another EMT kept me stable. I then hit the lowest point of my day, I PEED in an ambulance.   The upside to this was my blood pressure dropped after that point. By the time I got to the hospital it was my normal 118 over 72. I was still sweating and very warm.   I was flushed with IV and then given  medication to prevent vomiting.

Once stable and rehydrated I was able to leave. My husband and I took the long ride back. My head was hanging low, I was sad and tired. My husband was just focused on getting back, packing up and going home.  We knew we wouldn’t need to be there for awards since we didn’t cook anything.

We arrived on the bright green field. We exited the car to a standing ovation from all the cooking teams at our site. Our site was completely cleaned up and we found out 4 people jumped in to cook the rest of our ribs and chicken wings and turned them all in. Some of these people were from the Brookline Fire Department themselves. We then had a small team of fire fighters and BBQ cook teams pack our car.

I got to see Jessica and hug her for helping me and sitting with me, I sat with her for a while and her family. It was so humbling to see my whole day and how everyone pulled together to help out. We sat through awards and will be back next year to the Brookline Fire Department BBQ cook off.

We truly learned why Brookline Fire Department and all fire departments are family and BBQ folks are called brothers and sister. We will be forever thankful to the Brookline Fire Department and NEBS for all the help.

Signs to watch for for heat stroke should you ever feel sick during the heat. Information taken from the Mayo Clinic .

Heatstroke symptoms include:

  • High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
  • Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
  • Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
  • Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
  • Headache. Your head may throb.

When to see a doctor:

If you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency services number.

Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment.

  • Get the person into shade or indoors.
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.

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