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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fair Folk

The county fair is in town. This means overtime to staff the fair grounds with an engine. Some firefighters hate this assignment with a passion. I don't think it's that bad. I got paid to go to the fair. Sure, the hours are long, it's hot and the food is ever so slightly overpriced ($5.00 for a Icee).

But it is fun to people watch.

There are a surprising number of medical incidents at something like a fair. They can vary in size and severity. At this fair in days and years past they've had shootings, malfunctioning rides that injure a dozen people, cows stepping on and crushing feet, fires, run of the mill medical aids, environmental emergencies, injured jockeys at the horse track, full arrests and MCI's caused by swarms of hornets. It's like having a one station department to serve tens of thousands of people that have no where else to go.

The first day I worked was an eventful one. We treated something like 10 people for bee stings. We passed out countless band aids, sun block and ibuprofen. We had calls for several drunks, a couple of slip and falls and quite a few heat related problems. We also had a horse go down during a race and toss the jockey. The jockey got the wind knocked out of him and had some numbness in his lower extremities. The horse had to be put down.

Not everything we did at the fair was an emergency response. The fair also gave us a great opportunity for PR. We, of course, had our fire engine there. We gave tours of the engine (people of all ages were excited to be able to sit in the driver's seat) and handed out stickers, hats and tattoos. It was a lot of fun to be able to talk with people and answer their questions.

It's definitely a change of pace. It's not a bad assignment but I'm glad the fair is only in town once a year.


Lizzie said...

Sounds fun! And every place is a good place for some positive PR!

I was thinking as I read this that I wished we had a fair. Then I realized that, somewhat close to where I live, is the Calgary Stampede. Starts glad you're not working that one!

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

I'm all for getting some good trauma! Bring on the stampede.

melaniek said...

Sounds awesome, lol. At our local fair most of the departments in the county have days assigned and also have several departments spread out through the grounds. The people watching would be a lot of never know what you might see.

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