Lynchburg, VA - Poor planning is detailed in an 11 page report released by the Campbell County Department of Public Safety.
Dozens of heat related illnesses plagued the first day of the Lynchburg Regional Air Show, prompting organizers to change the transportation plan for the second day of the show.
The report addresses transportation issues and the lack of timely emergency response to several heat related illnesses.
"The level of emergency response activity during the show could best be described as a slow motion mass casualty incident," the report states. "The pace of heat related incidents increased dramatically as the show came to a conclusion and the throngs of people waited for transportation back to the parking areas."
It says the spectators were shuttled back to their cars within three hours after the May 21st show ended. But, 19 ambulances had to be called in from neighboring jurisdictions to respond to the high volume of heat related calls, as people waited to get shuttled back to their cars.
The report lists 60 lessons learned from the event. Among them, better communication between event organizers and public safety officials, obtaining the proper permits for an outdoor event, "proactive management of heat related emergencies" (cooling towers, misting fans, free ice and water, cooling stations), more EMS resources and having law enforcement manage the transportation plan.
The report also commends public safety responders, health care providers and volunteers. "Saturday'sresponse was expressed by many as the best day of career with all responders working together to overcome many obstacles to provide emergency services to the public," the report states. "Without the plan and individual efforts of all involved, there was potential for serious injury or worse."