DALLAS — Paramedics had to treat several people for heat exhaustion Monday after they waited hours to greet the Dallas Mavericks when they arrived at Love Field after winning the NBA championship in Miami.
Officials anticipate that high temperatures on Thursday for the Mavericks victory parade in downtown Dallas will cause many more problems.
"Dallas Fire-Rescue will be staged at multiple locations throughout the parade route, with the ability to respond to any emergency," said Chief Eddie Burns. "But there will be a particular focus on heat exhaustion."
Dallas Fire-Rescue will have three major medical stations set up near the beginning, middle and end of the 1.6-mile route.
Nearly a dozen ambulances will be placed strategically for quick response. Several all-terrain vehicles equipped with stretchers will negotiate the crowds.
"We have eight bike medics that will be going along the parade route just to monitor and make sure that no one along the parade route is experiencing any heat exhaustion or heat stroke," said Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans.
Crowds may be waiting several hours before the parade starts at 10 a.m. Emergency officials want fans to plan for that, and to understand that close quarters will make the heat feel even worse.
The Mavs are working with vendors to supply misting stations and water along the parade route, but with 250,000 fans expected, there is almost no way they can provide enough for everyone. They are urging parade-goers to bring plenty of water for themselves.
Health authorities said fans should start drinking water the day before the parade, so they are well hydrated in advance.
Also, avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine — including coffee — on Thursday morning, as they can hasten dehydration.
Finally, dress in cool, loose-fitting clothing and be sure to bring a hat and to wear sunscreen.