With tens of thousands of people packed on the Hodag Country Festival grounds, accidents are bound to happen.
Over the past 37 years, first responders - stationed on the grounds - have seen it all. Dale Wege, the night shift supervisor of Hodag First Aid, says, "You name it we've seen it. Sprains, strains, falls, bumps, burns."
Everyone working at the first aid tent is trained in the medical field; however, they are all volunteers. Some are first responders from area fire departments others are doctors and nurses. Wege tells NC7, whatever their title may be, these medical volunteers act as first responders providing the most basic care needed. That's because a majority of the injures are minor and are able to be treated on the grounds.
Over the course of the long weekend, Wege says they hand out more than 10,000 band-aids.
Unfortunately, a band-aid can't fix everything. Some Hodagers need extensive medical treatment and paramedics serve as the middle man to get them a few miles down the road to Ministry's St. Mary's Hospital.
At the hospital, crews are on standby with extra back - meaning more doctors/nurses. Alycia Turgon is an R.N. in the emergency room and says Hodag increase the number of patients by 40-50%.
Since Hodag is associated with a particular type of beverage, you might think intoxication is one of the biggest problems. Turgon says, "It's actually more dehydration, post heat stroke, and not drinking enough fluids." She continues, "Even on an overcast day, if you're up dancing and moving around dehydration is still possible."
So to keep yourself or your friends out of the emergency room, Wege recommends drinking 2 bottles of water to one bottle of beer.
**Some Words of Wisdom***
Whether you are heading to Hodag or any other summer event, Turgon recommends this:
1) Always carry band-aids
2) Make sure you're drinking lots of water
3) Know your limits
4) Make sure you're with people you know and trust
5) Always have emergency contact info on you
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