Military personnel taken to hospital with heat stroke

Ambulance in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Stock photo of an ambulance in the Netherlands. April 1, 2019photo: / DepositPhotos

Two members of the military were transported to a hospital on Monday when they showed symptoms of heat stroke. The two were participating in the first part of the National Military Championship (NMK) Pentathlon event in Oirschot, Noord-Brabant on Tuesday morning when medics stepped in to check them out.

The first part at the Oirschot barracks was an eight kilometer cross-country run. With temperatures on Tuesday predicted to reach 35 degrees the run was moved to 7 a.m. as a precaution, when normally the run would be the last stage.

Both victims were treated at the health clinic within the barracks after completing the run. They were then transported to an area hospital "for a check-up," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The rest of the pentathlon was was canceled to prevent further illness. Just 30 kilometers away, the weather station in Volkel registered a high temperature of 36 degrees at 4:50 p.m. In the morning, it was already 23 degrees at the start of the event, the ministry said. It rose 12 degrees by mid-day, according to Weeronline.

NMK organizers were aware of the heat warnings, and worked with the barracks and health care services to make the day safer. Aside from adjusting the times of the events, more fresh water stations were set up, and there were more shaded locations installed, the ministry said.

The NMK Pentathlon includes the cross-country run, which is eight kilometers for men and four for women, a 50-meter swim with obstacles, an obstacle course, shooting 10 rounds three times with either a C7 assault rifle or a Glock pistol, and hand grenade throwing for accuracy and disposal.

Successful participants are awarded a nationally-recognized medal for athletics, the Nationale Vijfkampkruis NOC*NSF. It is one of two medals for the pentathlon given in association with the Netherlands Olympic Committee.