Regions Hospital EMS, paramedics and nurses ready to provide medical aid at the State Fair
A Regions Hospital team is ready to help those who need medical attention at the Minnesota State Fair. There are two first aid stations, located on West Dan Patch Avenue and at the 4H Building.
“We see about two million people come through the gates every year so we see everything that you’d see in a city of two million people,” said Dr. Aaron Burnett, the EMS Medical Director.
He said most people stop by because of a minor ailment. For others, however, logging steps in the heat can lead to more serious problems.
“Sometimes people notice for the first time they have a little chest pain or something like that,” said Dr. Burnett. “A lot of people are dehydrated and we can hydrate them up and get them back out. Sometimes some people just need air conditioning.”
He explained they add staff during the hottest days and implement plans to help cool people down quickly.
The first aid station is well equipped with hospital beds and other essential medical devices.
“If they haven’t gotten better in 30 minutes, we’re going to call the ambulance crews to come and take them off to the hospital,” explained paramedic Kent Griffith.
People seeking assistance with minor injuries are treated in a separate area.
“We have a cot if people need to lie down, they can sit up at the table while the provider comes and assesses their injury,” said Griffith. “If we’ve got somebody who’s twisted their ankle, we can put an icepack on it and take this house wrap, wrap it around the ankle and they can go back to the fair.”
He has been responding to medical needs at the fair for more than 25 years. As the clinical supervisor for the shift, he travels between the two stations.
Griffith explained when someone calls 911 on the fairgrounds, Saint Paul Fire medics respond and transport patients to the first aid stations where the team is waiting.
“Our whole goal is to get people back to the fair if we can do so safely,” said Dr. Burnett. “We know people have driven from hours away and this is really a highlight of their summer so we try to have a medical setup that’s designed for that.”