LOOMIS (CBS13) – Record-breaking temperatures halted Del Oro High School’s graduation after more than a dozen people started passing out during the ceremony, suffering from heat exhaustion.READ MORE: 'This Hits Hard For Us': Officer Ty Lenehan Remembered By His Elk Grove PD 'Family'
By 9 a.m. Saturday morning, it was already 90 degrees, something that caught everybody off guard at the high school graduation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a true emergency. We have nine critical patients; we have every ambulance in the county coming to this location,” Loomis Fire Protection District Chief David Wheeler said to the graduates. “I need you to go to your cars. Please stay in your cars with the A/C on until the ambulances can get in here.”
” ‘You’re cancelling it?’ ” student Kendra Marshall said. “It was like you didn’t really believe it at first.”
Some of the graduates threw their caps in the air. But before the ceremony was completed, fire officials say at least 15 people were treated for heat exhaustion, several were sent to the hospital, and two were in critical condition.
“You factor in the rubber track, the students wearing black cap and gowns on the artificial turf, so there was some radiated heat that was more than 91 degrees,” said Capt. Darrell Jones.
The fire department says all the calls came in within 30 minutes, forcing them to call for extra ambulances from nearby fire departments.READ MORE: Tributes For Fallen Elk Grove Police Officer Ty Lenehan Pour In From Law Enforcement Across The Region
“Another 20 minutes to an hour, the numbers could have doubled,” said Jones.
“They were unzipping their robes and they were just flopping them around trying to cool off,” said Marshall.
Her special day was cut short and she never got to walk across that stage in her cap and gown.
“They only got to the Fs when they called it off,” she said.
Marshall had to send her graduation party indoors, out of the heat, and without her diploma.
“It’s kind of sad, but it’s just how things went,” she said. “You can’t really change it.”MORE NEWS: Bay Area Senator Proposes 12-Year-Olds Should Have Vaccination Rights Without Parents Consent
The graduates who didn’t get to walk will have a second chance Sunday. Bayside Church in Granite Bay will host a special indoor ceremony for all Del Oro graduates, giving them all a chance to walk and get their diploma.