HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Festivals and fairs have been re-opening all summer long now that pandemic restrictions are loosening up.
In all the excitement and fun of the events and summer activities, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment…but what if an emergency strikes?
“They can happen at home, they can happen in public, they can happen at parks. Anywhere you’re at, you need to be prepared and kind of have a plan,” says Captain Mat Winters, fire marshal of the Huntington Fire Department.
Winters says plans should take into consideration the details of the day: what’s the weather? Are you prepared for the elements?
First responders say while the call volume for emergencies stays at similar rate in the summer versus the other seasons, the nature of the calls does change.
“A lot of heat emergencies, people are a lot more active so you see the injuries from the outdoor activities; a lot more people on bikes, a lot more people out walking, you know,” Winters says.
“Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, children locked in cars, we get a lot of that; and actually bee stings, stuff like that,” says Scott Acker, assistant training officer with the Huntington Fire Department.
The best rule of thumb if you’re out and about and see an emergency start to take place is to call 9-1-1.
“Remember you always wanna call 9-1-1. But if not, I mean depending on the emergency—I mean if it’s a heat issue, get them out of the heat, get them in the shade; ice packs, cold rags, hydrate slow,” Acker says.
If you’re out at a fair or festival and someone begins to choke or lose consciousness—Acker and Winters demonstrate how you can help.
“If you have someone choking, normally they’re gonna grab their throat, that’s the universal sign for someone’s choking. What you want to do is first of all you want to get behind them, right here, and you thrust in and up,” Acker says.
Additionally, if someone loses consciousness and stops breathing, begin CPR after calling 9-1-1.
Of course, emergency officials say the best thing you can do to prevent any emergency situations:
“Use common sense, and like I said, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” Acker says.
This way, you can ensure you and your loved ones stay happy and health all summer long.
For more information and tips about emergency preparedness this summer, visit this website.