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Six hospitalized during National Guard training in East Lyme

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East Lyme — Six people were taken to the hospital early Monday morning after falling ill during a training exercise at the National Guard's Stone's Ranch Military Reservation, police said.

All six suffered symptoms related to dehydration after participating in a rigorous training exercise at the ranch, according to East Lyme Police Department Chief Michael Finkelstein. They were taken by ambulance to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for treatment, he said.

Capt. Dave Pytlik, spokesperson for the National Guard, said the first phase of Officer Candidate School is underway at Stone's Ranch, where candidates from all over the Northeast are training.

The officer candidates were completing their ruck march training exercise, in which they hike while carrying heavy equipment, Monday morning. The march "is one of the first major challenges," Pytlik said.

The exercise is held every year, Pytlik said, and "typically every year there are potentially heat injuries or rolled ankles, so we always accompany them with military medics."

Those medics saw symptoms of dehydration in at least six people and decided to seek further medical treatment for them as a precaution, he said.

All six were responsive and alert when they were transported to L+M and were believed to be in stable condition, Pytlik said.

The East Lyme Police Department responded to the scene, along with ambulances from Flanders Fire Department, Niantic Fire Department, Waterford and Old Lyme and paramedics from L+M and the Mohegan tribe, Finkelstein said.

No further information was immediately available. 

t.hartz@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version corrects the spelling of police Chief Michael Finkelstein's last name.

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