ALCOHOL and heat are a dangerous combination at Tamworth Country Music Festival.
St John Ambulance volunteers have been tending to a number incidents of heat stroke and alcohol-related illnesses over the weekend.
“We have had a few cases of people coming in with alcohol-related illness,” St John’s deputy commander Dennis Buxton said.
“The most important thing for us is to hydrate them and settle them down because alcohol affects people in different ways.
“Some people are happy, others are down in the dumps and some get belligerent.”
Festival-goers sweltered in heatwave conditions from Friday through to Sunday, with the mercury reaching the mid-40s.
A number of patients were admitted to St John’s Ambulance for heatstroke, identified by the people they were with.
"It’s what we expected given the weather conditions,” Mr Buxton said.
“We try to bring them into a cool environment to re-hydrate them and stabilise them.
“It’s likely they’ll start to feel weak, a bit funny, dizzy, often they themselves don’t realise it but someone with them will.”
In the hot conditions the priority is to cool the patient down and give them plenty of fluids.
St John’s Ambulance paramedic Ben Tory reminds festival-goers that beer is not an adequate way to hydrate.
“They’re lightheaded or passing out and it’s hard to get their temperature under control,” he said.
“A lot of people get a slightly more unsteady gait.
“I think the biggest thing is that alcohol dehydrates you and people think if they drink more they’ll be hydrated but it actually makes them worse.”
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