Record Number Treated For Heat On CMA Fest's 1st Day

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:18:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - CMA Music Fest's first official day knocked a lot of people off their feet.

“This is the second tent they brought me to,” said Jody, who asked NewsChannel 5 not to report her last name. “There are people everywhere that need help.”

With temps above 90 degrees, medics faced their busiest opening day at CMA Fest ever. They treated Jody for heat-related issues.

“My blood pressure's really low, and the hotter I get, the weaker I get, the lower it gets so I’m here to get refreshed,” she said.

And she’s just one of 170 people treated Thursday. Nine people were sent to the hospital the first day. Compare that with the 15 who were sent during the entire festival last year.

“With all the people and the walking, you just get light-headed quickly,” said Frances Toleno, who also stopped by the medic tent.

“The greatest way to cool people down is what we call ‘wet and windy,’” said Medical Director Dr. Jared McKinney.

McKinney said the 100-person team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center looks for people who need help using bikes and ATVS. One medic is even riding a Segway.

Inside the treatment tents, they use fans, water bottles and cold compresses to help people cool down. For most, 15 minutes out of the sun makes all the difference.

But McKinney said alcohol can make the problem much worse. He suggested festival-goers drink a bottle of water for each beer they consume.

If you realize you need help during the festival there are four medic tents set up around the bigger stages, or you can ask any staff member to radio help to you.

Medics hope with the hot weekend forecast people come prepared with water and use the water filling stations around downtown.

That way they can get back to the fun and enjoy the shows they came to see.