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Students faint from heat exhaustion during homecoming at suburban school

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BERWYN, Ill. -- More than a dozen ambulances had to be called to homecoming festivities at a Berwyn high school Friday after students started fainting from heat exhaustion.

Morton West High School's homecoming parade stepped off at 1 p.m. Friday, as temperatures soared above 90 degrees in the Chicago area. After the mile-long parade, students headed to the outdoor football stadium for the annual homecoming pep rally.

Around 3 p.m., one student suffered from “heat related injuries," according to the Berwyn fire department. While paramedics were on the scene treating that student, another student had heat-related problems, and then multiple students experienced either heat exhaustion or dehydration.

Berwyn Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran said they transported six students to the hospital, and one received a medical emergency release from his parent,  while several others were treated for minor heat-related injuries.

Their conditions aren’t yet known, but several other students were treated on the scene by the school nursing staff for minor heat issues . The varsity football game is still scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. The fire chief says he’ll have an extra ambulance on hand as a precaution.

Because the heat is supposed to last through the weekend, Saturday’s homecoming dance in the school's gym - which has no A.C. - is now cancelled. The dance is rescheduled for Sept. 30.