A cadet in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at was said to be OK late Saturday morning after passing out and falling right before the start of the school’s graduation ceremony.
The JROTC cadet was identified as Skyler Randleman, a junior, by one of his fellow cadets, Carly Padgett, also a junior. The two were among the four-person color guard assigned to present the colors when the ceremony began at 10 a.m.
Padgett said heat played a factor in Randleman’s fall.
“I think it was the culmination of the [parts of his uniform] covering his entire body,” Padgett said, adding that the layers he wore likely trapped heat. “He still wanted to go out and perform. We had to tell him to stay down.”
Several people came to Randleman’s aid after his fall. Padgett said Randleman was taken into the stadium’s concession stand to cool down. After getting some water and sugar into his body, the cadet was heading home around the time of the ceremony’s end.
Sunny skies greeted East Paulding’s graduation attendees and stuck around during the entire event. The National Weather Service at its weather station at Cobb County-McCollum Field Airport put the air temperature at 79 degrees just a few minutes before 10 a.m. But the temps only got higher from there—today’s forecast calls for a high near 94 degrees.
Many of those in attendance at the ceremony took precautions against the sunshine—they opened umbrellas to block the rays. But attendees prior to the ceremony’s start were asked to close their umbrellas as to not block the view of those sitting behind them.
School officials had several precautionary measures in place during the event.
“We tried to encourage [the graduates] to have waters,”Assistant Principal Greg Musgrove said. “We had paramedics here, and we had wet towels ready.
“Graduation was today, no matter what—we had to have it today, but unfortunately it was as hot as it was,” Musgrove added.
An ambulance was in place at the school throughout the ceremony; a second ambulance came after Randleman’s fall.
The heat also got to people who attended a graduation in nearby Cobb County. Friday due to heat-related problems during ’s graduation ceremony. Like East Paulding, the Cobb school’s commencement began at 10 a.m.