by: Staff Updated:None —
ATLANTA-- Roughly 20 people were treated for heat exposure and exhaustion while waiting in line at a job fair in metro Atlanta on Thursday, Channel 2's Tom Regan confirmed.
An Atlanta firefighter told Regan that eight people were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital as a result of the heat.
Thousands braved the heat to go to the job fair at Atlanta Technical College. The event created massive lines and traffic that clogged southwest Atlanta.
"My feet is really killing me, and this line is really long," job applicant Daisy Kennard told Channel 2’s Amanda Cook.
News Chopper 2 flew over the area where the job fair was being held, and showed a line snaked through the school’s parking lot and wrapped around the building.
The event, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, provided job seminars; 80 employers were on hand to speak to job seekers.
But applicants said it was worth the wait.
"I'm willing to stay in this line no matter what," Kennard said.
Organizers said the lines were so slow-moving because people were supposed to have pre-registered for the fair, and it took a while to register them on the spot. U.S. Rep. John Lewis shook hands and encouraged attendees to hang in.
"I would say, don't give up. Don't give in. Don't become bitter or hostile. Just hang in there," he said.
Lewis hugged William Smith, an out-of-work security officer with a wife and 1-year-old daughter.
"I've been constantly looking since I was laid off in June," Smith said.
The event was scheduled to last until 5:30 p.m.
News Chopper 2 reporter Jason Durden advised incoming participants to use public transit to avoid traffic jams on Metropolitan Parkway, University Avenue, Dill Street and area neighborhoods.
“Traffic is an absolute mess in southwest Atlanta,” Durden said.