Heat wave taking its toll on Mid-Southerners

Heat Related Deaths

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – In the aftermath of a dangerous triple digit heat wave, we have learned not only of heat-related deaths in Shelby County but heat-related injuries in the entire Memphis Police Recruiting Class.

On June 28th, police spokesperson Karen Rudolph, says 66 recruits at the Memphis police training academy filed on the job injuries after training in the heat. The recruits were participating in something called a bear crawl. It was days of heat that also contributed to the deaths of three people in Shelby County.

"He said he was sitting in the chair dead," neighbor Allie Branch said. "He had been dead we believe it was at least 2 or 3 days."

Neighbors say the 51-year-old man who lived here didn't have utilities.

"He had got behind on his bill," Branch said. "He would say it was over 107 degrees in there. It was 103 or 4 outside."

A 51-year-old woman also died in her Collierville home. Neighbors say she was a teaching assistant at Bailey Station Elementary. And a 61-year-old woman died in her southeast Memphis home.

And now Memphis police recruits report suffering when the heat was over 100 degrees during training.

In response to reports that more than 60 recruits claimed they were affected by the heat on one day at the end of June when temperatures reached 100, during an exercise where they had to crawl on the ground, Memphis police association president Mike Williams told me by phone that it is "very unfortunate."

He said he had to train in the heat and you can't just say you're not going to go out because it's too hot.

"It's bad," he said.

Ten of the 66 Memphis police recruits were sent for minor medical treatment.  Memphis police say the incident is under investigation.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.