CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. - The sights, tastes and smells at the State Fair of Virginia are as varied as the people who attend. Since it began Friday, more than 30,000 people have already traveled out to Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.
Thousands of people means thousands of medical backgrounds for Steve Wood to consider. Wood is in charge of a team of medical professionals who are on the grounds at all times during the fair.
"We get a wide variety of calls," said Wood. "Our goal is to get to a patient within two minutes of discovering there is an incident."
When throngs of people pack the sidewalks, getting to an incident can present its own challenges. EMT's are stationed at mulitple stations in the park. Those stations are air-conditioned and filled with most of the medical supplies a responder needs, Wood said.
Up to 20 medical professionals are on the grounds during peak times. Bike medics patrol the grounds regularly, and if a patient need to go to the hospital, Wood's team has three advanced life support ambulances on site.
While the majority of their calls are bumps and bruises or stem from preexisting medical conditions, Wood's team was called to 15 heat related incidents on Saturday. Although that's a small percentage of the 30,000 visitors to the fair, Wood said it's a reminder that people need to hydrate before they arrive and avoid beverages like sodas.
"The whole time that you're here, you need to be adding to [your hydration level] by drinking more water, Wood said.
The State Fair of Virginia continues until Oct. 5th.