Despite temperatures in the 90s last week, the number of people seeking treatment at this year’s Washington Town and Country Fair first-aid station was one of the lowest in the last 20 years.
A total of 252 fairgoers were treated for various ailments and injuries at the station during the Fair Aug. 3-7. That is down 54 from 306 last year.
In 2009, there were 339 people treated and officials reported 372 fairgoers treated in 2008.
Officials have not seen this low of number reported since there were 270 people in 1991, according to statistics provided by Chief Terry Buddemeyer, Washington Area Ambulance District (WAAD).
Wednesday and Saturday were the busiest days at the first-aid station this year.
This year’s daily breakdown and the comparison to last year are as follows:
Wednesday, 65, up two;
Thursday, 35, down 29;
Friday, 39, down 25;
Saturday, 66, up nine;
Sunday, 47, down 11.
“There were people on the fairgrounds each day that had heat-related complaints,” Buddemeyer said. “They cooled off in the first-aid station and did not require ambulance transport or any other further medical care.
“There were several patients with heat-related symptoms transported by EMS carts on the fairgrounds to the first-aid station Wednesday and Saturday.
“After cooling down and rehydrating, they were either returned to the Fair activities or went home,” Buddemeyer said.
Rodeo, Motocross Incidents
This year, no riders had to be transported by ambulance from the bull riding event Wednesday evening, the rodeo Thursday night or the motocross races Saturday, according to Buddemeyer.
One patient from the sprint car races Saturday was transported off the fairgrounds for trauma, he said.
Two other patients — one on Wednesday and another on Saturday — also were transported off the fairgrounds for medical reasons.
One bull rider and several motocross riders with isolated injuries not requiring ambulance transport were advised to follow up with their health care providers for additional medical assessment and treatment.
Several other patients went by private vehicle off the fairgrounds for further medical evaluation and treatment.
Other patients were treated at the station for lacerations, blisters and headaches, Buddemeyer reported.
As in past years, the station was staffed by personnel from WAAD and St. John’s Mercy Hospital.
Mercy sunscreen packets and neck coolers were given to fairgoers at their request.
Coverage at the motor sports arena was provided by WAAD and the Washington Fire Department with assistance from surrounding fire departments.
J&W Cycles provided a Kawasaki Mule with a specialized EMS insert again this year for use during motor sports events and for response to other parts of the fairgrounds as needed, Buddemeyer said.
The WAAD EMS cart also was used to respond to calls and transport patients on the fairgrounds.
This was the 12th year first-aid service used mutual aid ambulances from bordering districts at the Fair during peak times and to provide ambulances at specific events.
Meramec, Marthasville, St. Clair, Union and New Haven ambulance districts provided personnel and ambulances.
Buddemeyer said the safety of the Fair patrons and workers was emphasized in the pre-Fair planning and daily meetings of emergency service agencies with Fair Board members.