One of the county’s biggest events, the Waterford Fair, took place over the first October weekend, Oct. 3 to 5. The fair draws a big crowd each year, and this year it was no different: The hosts of the event estimate that the visitor count reached about 25,000 over the weekend.
For us at the Hamilton Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Waterford Fair is a great opportunity to interact with the public. We have a long-standing history – 30 years – of providing medical evaluations, interventions, assistance, and standby services at the event. This year we had a great presence of volunteers. We staffed two ambulances at the fair, plus one ambulance in Hamilton for emergencies in town. On all three days we had Gators available for rapid responses in crowded spots at the fair. Two out of the three days we also had a bike team at the event. An advanced-level provider (paramedic) was available all three days as well. This means that on any given event day there were about 15 volunteers on call and ready to assist with emergencies.
This year, our volunteers primarily responded to bee stings, falls, and scrapes. Fortunately, it was the second year in a row where none of the patients required transport to the local hospital. On average, our HVRS volunteers assisted 7 patients each day of the fair weekend.
With each medical standby service comes a lot of planning, establishing a command structure, and other behind-the-scenes tasks to make it all happen and function properly. Our volunteers invested about 400 combined hours of their time to plan, prepare, coordinate, and provide hands-on emergency services for this year’s Waterford Fair weekend – and now that this year’s fair is over, we have already begun to plan for next year’s.