Illinois National Guardsman Dies After Heat-Related Illness During Training

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An Illinois National Guardsman died Friday after completing a two-mile run as part of a fitness test at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby, according to a release from the Mississippi Army National Guard.

The soldier, who has not been identified, experienced a medical emergency after completing the run.

Medics provided immediate assistance, but the soldier was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Forrest General Hospital in nearby Hattiesburg.

Temperatures in the Hattiesburg area were in the 100s Friday and Saturday, with heat indices at times exceeding 110 degrees. The National Guard said the soldier experienced “symptoms associated with heat-related injuries.”

A second soldier at Camp Shelby was taken to the hospital Saturday after experiencing similar symptoms during a training exercise.

The soldier was given immediate assistance, taken to a shaded area and given plenty of water, but when his condition worsened, he was taken to the hospital. He was still receiving care as of Monday afternoon.

The Mississippi National Guard has issued a Safety Stand-Down order which calls a halt to all outdoor training activities from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, until further notice.

The order comes as the Deep South is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures well above normal.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Hattiesburg area, with temperatures expected to reach 105 degrees on Tuesday.