One Man Dead, 350 Other Runners Transported to Hospitals in Record Heat at Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon Heat Crisis finally showed signs of tapering Sunday at 1:55 p.m. but only after one man died, about 250 runners were transported to hospitals in Chicago, and race officials shut down the race for runner safety. As of 4:00 p.m. Central Time, 350 runners were transported to nearby hospitals.

According to NBC 5, hundreds of runners complained that not enough water was available along the course and that some runners stopped in stores to buy water along the route. Physicians reported that some runners arrived at health care facilities with body temperatures of 107 degrees Farenheit.

Chad Schieber, 35, of Midland, Mich., collapsed on the city’s South Side, according to the medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead just before 1 p.m. CDT at a Veterans Affairs hospital. He was a Michigan police officer, well-liked community relations officer, and a father of three. His wife was running along with him, but had stopped running prior to his collapse.

Chicago and suburban paramedics were busy responding to reports of collapsed runners along the Chicago Marathon running course from just before 11:30 a.m until about 2:00 p.m. Central Time Sunday. Suburban fire departments were continuously rotating calls — waiting in staging areas and then escorted by Chicago police and other personnel to help find reported locations of runners down.

A third alarm level ambulance was requested at about 12:30 p.m and brought fire department paramedics from Alsip, Barrington, Des Plaines, Dixon, Elk Grove Township, Grayslake, Hillside, La Grange, Lansing, Lincolnwood, Melrose Park, Mount Prospect, Mundelein, Posen, Rosemont, Wauconda, Westchester, Wheeling, Wilmette, and others to the Chicago Marathon running course staging area, medical tents and street incidents.

The Division 24 Command Van also responded to a staging area at Cermak and Morgan.

At times the staging area had been depleted of ambulances as staged ambulances respond to medical emergencies on the streets of the Chicago Marathon running course. Ambulance runs were continuously dispatched, sometimes two or three at a time.

Hospitals receiving patients include Cook County, Mercy, Rush-St. Lukes.

At 12:50 p.m. the nearest Chicago Marathon weather conditions observed at Chicago White Sox U.S. Celllular Field were the following: Temperature: 87.5 F, Dew Point: 67 F, Wind: Southwest 2.0 mph, UV: 5 out of 16, Clouds: Few clouds at 4100 feet and Scattered at 11,000 feet,
Visibility: 10.0 miles, Barometric Pressure: 30.02 inches. A temperature of 87 degrees at O’Hare International Airport is a record high for October 7 (Weather Summary for October 7 2007).

At about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Chicago Fire Department called for an extra alarm for ambulances from Chicago and neighboring suburbs, including fire departments from Central Stickney, Evanston, Niles, North Palos Hills, North Riverside, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Skokie, Summit, and
Willow Springs. Over ten suburban ambulances at that point had been summoned to Chicago.

A full arrest (cardiac arrest) was reported about three miles from Grant Park at 15th and Ashland Avenue [MAP/SAT], which is likely the location where Chad Scheiber died.

Multiple runners were reported down at 18th and Ashland Avenue

Balboa and Lake Shore Drive was also reported as a high incident area. The location was near the finish line where runners were instructed to return.

The main staging area for ambulances has been setup at Cermak and Morgan. Fire departments Division 9 (Chicago), Division 4, and Division 3, Division 10 and Division 1 are responders.

Keywords: dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, collapse, heat illness, cardiac arrest