Since 1990, 9,724 people have sought first-aid care of some sort at the Washington Town & Country Fair.
This year, Washington Area Ambulance District (WAAD) chief Terry Buddemeyer, said there were 209 first-aid cases at the Washington Town & Country Fair, which is much less than last year.
“The 2019 numbers are down 67 from last year with Saturday being the busiest day,” Buddemeyer said. “This was a very good fair as far as EMS/first aid was concerned. Usual Fair stuff, nothing serious. This is the first year in recent fairs that we did not transport anyone from the fairgrounds by ambulance.”
Buddemeyer added there were less people on the fairgrounds that had heat-related complaints this year.
The few patients with heat-related complaints cooled off in the first-aid station and did not require ambulance transport or any other further medical care.
“Most care provided was for minor cuts and scrapes and provision of over-the-counter medications for various minor medical issues,” Buddemeyer said. “There were only a couple of patients transported by EMS carts from the fairgrounds to the first-aid station throughout the Fair.”
After first-aid treatment, those treated either returned to the Fair activities or went home.
Other patients seen at first-aid were treated for the usual Fair-related complaints including lacerations, blisters, headaches, and others.
There were no injuries requiring EMS assistance from the bull riding events Wednesday evening or the bull/bronco riding on Thursday.
The motocross event on Sunday resulted in one possible ankle injury that went for further care by private vehicle.
As in past years, fair first-aid services were provided by personnel from the WAAD and Mercy Hospital Washington volunteers.
Coverage for motor sports and arena motocross was provided by WAAD and the Washington Fire Department with assistance from mutual aid personnel from surrounding fire departments.
“This is the 20th year that we have utilized mutual aid ambulances from bordering districts at the Fair during peak times and at times when an ambulance was required to be assigned to a specific event (bull/bronc riding, bullfighting, and motocross),” Buddemeyer said. “These mutual aid ambulances assisted as transport units and as additional emergency medical services resources on the fairgrounds.” Mutual aid ambulances were provided by the Meramec, Marthasville, St. Clair, Union, and New Haven ambulance districts.
Crews utilized a Kawasaki mule with a specialized EMS insert again this year at the motor sports events and for response to calls on the fairgrounds and perimeter.
The WAAD EMS UTV and EMS golf cart were also utilized for response to and transport of patients on the fairgrounds.
On-site ambulances also were provided during peak times all five days of the Fair. Safety of the Fair patrons and workers is emphasized in the pre-Fair planning and daily safety meetings of emergency service agencies with the Fair chairman and Fair Board personnel.
The number of people treated at the Fair this year is the second lowest in just under 30 years. The lowest year ever was 2015 when only 198 sought first-aid care.
The highest number of people treated at a Town & Country Fair was 443 in the year 2000.
Beginning in 1990 and up to 1997 those seeking first-aid at the Fair averaged 316 per year.
Between 1998 and 2003, first-aid cases jumped to average 416 per year before dropping back to an average of 320 cases per year for the next 10 years ranging from 2004 to 2014.
Since 2105, the number of first-aid cases each year at the Fair has averaged 233 over a four-day period.