Scenes from the Vans Warped Tour at the PNC
Advance preparation helps cut rate of emergency services assistance
The Vans Warped Tour at the PNC Bank Arts Center was in town Friday, an annual punk/metalcore/rock roadshow that attracts thousands of pumped up fans with its moveable, musical feast.
At the concert last year at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, fans overcome by the extreme heat fainted on the blacktop. Local volunteer emergency services workers reported seeing 301 attendees for a variety of medical problems; 41 were sent to the hospital. In 2010, the situation was only a tad less bad. Emergency workers saw 286 fans and transported 35 to hospital.
But this year, those numbers were halved, thanks to weeks of preparation that went into reducing that kind of scene. According to MONOC Emergency Services Director of Operations Andrew Caruso, more than 50 emergency workers, including some physicians, staffed the event. In the end, they treated 149 patients at the concert for various problems and transported 23 to Bayshore.
"The number of people needing to be transported was reduced significantly by our ability to have doctors assess and treat patients that would have otherwise needed hospital intervention right at our medical treatment area."
"Very few of the patients we saw were intoxicated, or had even been drinking," Caruso added.
Regular meetings to address the Friday the 13th's music event were held among local authorities from LiveNation, MONOC Emergency Medical Services, Bayshore Community Hospital and Monmouth OEM.
Some solutions they came up with were cool misting stations, roaming teams of EMS workers looking for people in need, a plan for mass casualties and a portable military-style shelter set up outside the hospital emergency room in case of overflow.