ATCEMS, emergency operations prepare for ACL Fest

First day of Austin City Limits (ACL) 2015. (Phil Prazan/KXAN News)
First day of Austin City Limits (ACL) 2015. (Phil Prazan/KXAN News)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County EMS says they’re ramping up meetings in the days ahead of Week 1 of Austin City Limits Music Festival.

“We don’t anticipate any problems,” ATCEMS Division Chief Wes Hopkins said. “We have a good track record of making those events safe.”

One of the advantages Austin first responders have is that EMS, fire and police use the same radio system, so coordinating an emergency response between agencies is only a radio channel away.

While EMS does not disclose how many medics will be working ACL, the agency says attendees will notice medics — working through a private medical provider — in Zilker Park, while there will be medics in the background outside the park ready to surge into the venue if needed.

If something goes wrong, they’ll first make sure the scene is safe with Austin police, before entering using triage tags to prioritize the patients that need care first.

Ron Weaver, emergency preparedness and operations manager for the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council, said in past casualty events area hospitals were inundated with all levels of patients. “Those people that were not high-level needs were delayed. And this way we ensure that they’re all getting treatment as fast as possible and that may be a hospital not in the city.”

EMS urges attendees to be aware of your surroundings and report something suspicious. It’s also important to be familiar with park exits and plan a meeting place with friends and family if you become separated.

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