There for the Fair

In the best of all possible worlds, a person can go about the business of the day without ever meeting an emergency medical technician. But if the worst does eventually occur, there are few people one might rather see than these mobile menders.

Unless they have used Gate E at the southwestern end of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, fairgoers might not have even noticed the disaster response and first aid station provided by Community Ambulance of Minot, complete with a crew of paramedics ready to spring into action. Fortunately, their services have only been infrequently required.

“It’s been a good, safe year,” said Austin Westmeyer, who works at the NDSF office. There have only been a handful of ambulatory calls this year, with no major incidents reported.

Friday afternoon, the three EMTs on call seemed fairly relaxed at the aid station, sitting in the shade the trailer surrounded by tall trees provided. Kirsten, Matt and Terra explained that fair duty has been relatively easy compared to what they normally deal with around town. Mostly, the station is there for treating the odd nicks and scrapes, dispensing ibuprofen for migraine sufferers, as well as providing a watercooler for those who feel dehydrated.

“It’s a nice break,” Terra joked. While relatively laid-back, the EMTs are still prepared to hop into a golf cart and ride to the rescue.

“Calls come in from the radio,” Kirsten explained, linking them to security and fair personnel around the grounds.

For special events such as concerts or ranch rodeos, Matt said “we have another ambulance that stands in for that.”

“We’re here most of the day,” added Terra, from 10 a.m. until midnight throughout the remainder of the Fair, which ends tonight.