Dozens of shuttle watchers have been treated for medical emergencies along Endeavour’s route through Los Angeles streets on Saturday.
Some 34 people – many of them in their 70s – have been treated for symptoms ranging from dizziness and fainting, to diabetic shock and cardiac problems, according to Los Angeles City Fire officials. Early reports suggested about 50 people had been treated.
A pregnant woman was also treated for an undisclosed emergency, but has been released and is doing well, fire officials said. There were no reports of life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
Endeavour’s final mission brought it through South Los Angeles on Saturday, when temperatures reached into the 70s. NBC4 forecast Byron Miranda says it was a beautiful day, but if shuttle fans were not well-hydrated or in direct sunlight, it could’ve have been unhealthily hot.
To combat the heat, Los Angeles Police Department officers passed out water bottles and law enforcement set up fire hydrant cooling stations at major intersections along Crenshaw Boulevard. Those stations use the fire hydrant to create drinking fountains, officials said.
A medical command post has been set up at Crenshaw Boulevard and 39th Street. There, a fleet of ambulances are ready to deploy (pictured below).
Fire officials said the number of people treated during the shuttle’s second consecutive day on LA streets is typical for an event of that size. About 30,000 were estimated to line up along Crenshaw Boulevard alone on Saturday.
Temperatures will drop drastically, into the low 60s, when the sun goes down around 6:20 p.m., Miranda said, adding that those shuttle watchers who were too hot earlier in the day, will likely need a sweater.
Despite the at-times oppressive sunshine on Saturday, the crowd missed a heat wave set to descend on the Southland early next week when temperatures will soar in the low 100s in some areas.