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No hazards found after fire crews called to Southern Alberta high school

Firefighters responded to a call at Foothills Composite High School in Okotoks after multiple students reported fainting or feeling light-headed.
The Okotoks Fire Dept. responded to a call at the Foothills Composite High School on Nov. 24 after multiple students reported fainting or feeling light-headed. After a thorough search, emergency crews found no hazards and the students did not require medical attention.

Fire crews have given the ‘all clear’ after a scare at one of Okotoks' high schools today. 

After receiving a call of multiple students fainting or feeling light-headed in the north wing of Foothills Composite High School, Okotoks Fire Department Deputy Chief Dave Hodgins said firefighters did a thorough search of the school. 

“We sent our fire crews down to check for any hazardous chemicals, any hazards that we could see might cause illness,” Hodgins said. 

“Crews did a thorough search of the area using our multi-gas detectors, all readings came up normal, and we’re continuing to work with the school to monitor that area, but we’ve allowed them to continue operating as normal."

When his team arrived, the students had already felt better and no one needed to be assessed by EMS or transported to hospital. 

“Anybody that was reported to be sick was allowed to go home by the school and we have no cases of patients at that school regarding this incident,” Hodgins explained.

The high school's principal, Vince Hunter, said he called emergency services out of an abundance of caution. 

“We had a space where a few kids didn’t feel good, and we just wanted to be cautious and thoughtful,” Hunter said. "Because it was down in our CTS (Career and Technology Studies) wing where we have lots of equipment, so just being cautious and decided to make sure the air quality was safe. 

“The fire department, as always, was incredible and supportive and came in.” 

As the affected students bounced back and no hazards were found, classes resumed. 

The issue could simply have been seasonal illness, the principal said.

“Lots of kids have been battling different bugs and colds,” Hunter concluded. “What I know is the school is safe and we were over-cautious, because it’s important.” 

Brent Calver

About the Author: Brent Calver

Award-winning photojournalist for the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and the Foothills region.
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