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West Palm Beach firefighters ready to handle Sunfest medical emergencies

Posted at 11:40 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-05 11:48:42-04

Nearby the loud music, crowds and good times, the West Palm Beach Fire Department is mixed in the crowd, along with a fully staffed, 15-bed emergency room ready for anything from a terror attack to a bad batch of drugs at Sunfest. 

RELATED: Full SunFest coverage 

“We have set up our field hospital in anticipation of a high call volume,” said Division Chief John Meskiel with the West Palm Beach Fire Department. 

This set up is exactly what would happen in a terror attack or natural disaster. 

They see their fair share of things like falls or dehydration, but also anticipating what could happen in a setting like this. 

“We do see a lot of drug use. Obviously this is a multi day concert event. It depends on the type of act of performer that’s on, will also dictate what kind of call volume,” said Meskiel. 

They have Narcan, a drug that helps people recover from an opioid overdose, on standby too. 

The goal is to not overflow the emergency rooms, but just in case, an ambulance is ready. 

“This unit is here to solely transport patients out,” he said, showing us. 

“What’s unique is it’s a large amount of people in a small space,” said Capt. Scott D’Angelo with the West Palm Beach Fire Department.

In the middle of it all, first responders on foot and on carts. 

“We have different layers of abilities to get people in the tightest situations,” said D'Angelo.

Last year, Meskiel says a bad strand of marijuana made its way through here. They treated those people but also altered the police and hospitals. 

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