Lost students found safe at nature preserve

Fults Hill Nature Preserve

Multiple area fire departments, including Maeystown, Valmeyer, Waterloo, Columbia and Prairie du Rocher, responded about 11:30 a.m. Friday to assist the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Monroe County EMA in a search for lost teenagers participating in a school field trip at the Fults Hill Nature Preserve in the area of Kidd Lake Road and Bluff Road. Shortly after noon, all students were reported to be safe and accounted for.

The students, from Cahokia High School, were participating in an ecology field trip. There were a total of 62 students, Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said.

“They took the heat for granted,” Rohlfing said afterward. Temperatures were in the 90-degree range.

Prior to the emergency search for lost students, one teenager apparently suffered a seizure at the nature preserve, prompting a call for Survival Flight medical helicopter. That student was airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Two other students were treated at the scene for heat-related issues, while another reportedly hurt her back. Monroe County EMS transported one student to a St. Louis hospital.

The remaining students were evaluated by medical personnel at a staging area set up at Valmeyer High School early Friday afternoon.

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