108 Degrees - Critical Response

"108°: Critical Response" addresses the dangers of heat illness in high school sports. Through personal testimonies from families who have been affected by exertional heat stroke and interviews with coaches, certified athletic trainers, kinesiologists, and other medical professionals, "108°: Critical Response" looks at the seriousness of heat illness and its underlying causes, as well as how to treat and prevent exertional heat illness.



In June 2012, Arkansas adopted heat illness guidelines recommended by the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. For information on these guidelines, visit the Korey Stringer Institute or the Arkansas Activities Association. Additional information regarding heat illness is also available from the Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life.

Learn more about exertional heat stroke and heat illness prevention.

Preventing Heat Illness (PDF)Proper Hydration (PDF)

Featured in the film are three young victims of heat illness, only one of whom survived. Kendrick Fincher of Rogers and Tyler Davenport of Lamar died of heat stroke while practicing football in the summer months, while Will James of Little Rock received treatment and survived. Parents Rhonda Fincher, Mark and Tina Davenport, and Patti James all appear in the documentary.

Arkansas PBS produced "108°: Critical Response" in response to Act 1214 of 2011. Sen. Keith Ingram, formerly a representative, of West Memphis and Rep. Mark Perry of Jacksonville sponsored the bill, and the Davenport family was instrumental in getting it passed. The act requires coaches to complete training in heat illness.

Experts interviewed include: Brendon McDermott, professor of kinesiology, University of Arkansas; Dean Weber, former head athletic trainer, University of Arkansas; Michele Moss, ICU physician, Arkansas Children's Hospital; Todd Ross, certified athletic trainer, OrthoSurgeons/Pulaski Academy in Little Rock; Kevin Kelley, head football coach, Pulaski Academy; Perry Escalante, head football coach, Heritage High School in Rogers; Doug Blevins, band director, Heritage High School; and Walters.

Filming of "108°: Critical Response" took place at Rogers High School, Heritage High School, Pulaski Academy, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Central Arkansas where students participated in a recreation of heat illness scenarios.