WHILE you’re busy partying deep into the night during the country music festival, spare a thought for the paramedics looking after you.
As well as the “usual” trauma incidents and rescue helicopter duties, local ambulance officials say crews have responded to several reports of heat-related illnesses during a hot first few days of the event in addition to calls about chest pain, strokes and other medical emergencies.
“Over and above our normal work there were the obvious heat issues. It goes without saying there’s a warning to drink plenty of fluids, less alcohol and find an air-conditioned area,” regional ambulance inspector Ray Tait told The Leader yesterday.
Mr Tait said St John Ambulance volunteers had dealt with much of the festival medical response in Tamworth’s Peel St but the more serious incidents were referred to paramedics.
“We’re particularly looking at bolstering our numbers from day shift on Friday through to Sunday night. We’re running two extra crews from what we’ve put on for the rest of the festival,” he said.
“The reason is quite simple: all the fans will be in the one place on Saturday at the cavalcade, and historically during that period it does create some issues for us in terms of traffic flow.
“So we’ve brought in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) which will be stationed down at the parade and we can use it for the high- volume pedestrian traffic areas.”
He said paramedics had also treated some festival-goers for alcohol-related incidents and he urged them not to take risks with excessive drinking.
Mr Tait said there may be a need to increase paramedic numbers in Tamworth a few days earlier next year.
“This will be sorted out in a debrief after the festival,” he said.