Over 200 G4S Security, first aid personnel, volunteers from Dauphin’s Fire Department, Parkland Ambulance staff and RCMP worked together on site to quickly respond to requests for assistance over the weekend.
This past year, Countryfest made a $630,000.00 investment to move away from a temporary roof over the main stage to a new permanent structure to ensure the safety of performers, fans and volunteers. The project proved to be a worthwhile endeavor after high winds experienced on Tuesday, June 26 that caused extensive damage to houses and trees over a wide swath of eastern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba.
Main stage artists commented on how safe and comfortable they felt mingling with the crowds and touring site during the day. Even the Saturday headliner Zac Brown and his band were seen touring the creek and campground area to visit with festival patrons and fans. Meanwhile, Kansas-bred Jerrod Neimann found time to enjoy the same atmosphere as many who attend the festival each year. “First thing I did was grab the guys off the bus and I said let’s go party with these folks in the campground. I’m from the Midwest and Canada and the Midwest are very similar. The proof is in the puddin’, we went out there and had a great time”.
RCMP check stopped thousands of vehicles going into and out of the site. On site First Aid staff handled everything from scrapes and bruises to sprained ankles. With the heat and humidity experienced over the weekend, First Aid staff provided assistance with heat related issues from sunburns to heat exhaustions.
“We have really great fans who attend our event. The overall picture is that people who attend have a great time and be safe. Of course with 12,000 paid daily participants there are bound to be some issues that arise. First Aid staff continually patrol the campground and are able to because of the road system in place that allows for a response time of five minutes or less. Our security and emergency teams do a superb job at responding to issues in order to keep everyone safe”, said Countryfest President, Eric Irwin. Minor medical problems are treated on site and patients with more serious problems such as broken ankles or heart problems are immediately taken by ambulance to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre, less than 10 minutes away.
On Monday morning, a 42 year old male was discovered unconscious and not responsive by first aid and security. The First Aid team, G4S Security and EMS staff who responded to the call did everything they could to assist and transport him for appropriate care to the Regional Health Centre. Unfortunately, he passed away later on that evening. RCMP advise that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Over the 23 years of the festival, I am aware that there have been two fatalities from heart attacks and in both cases the families thanked the festival for quick medical response, quicker than they would have received at their rural homes” said Countryfest President, Eric Irwin.
Dauphin’s Countryfest Board and Staff send their heartfelt condolences to the patron’s family and friends. We would further like to commend G4S, First Aid and Parkland EMS staff for their prompt and coordinated response.