Mullins Center: A giant drain on Amherst public safety
Last Thursday night for a three hour period all five Amherst ambulances were stuck in a continuous loop between the UMass Mullins Center, a state owned entertainment venue, and the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, transporting 14 drug or alcohol overdose "victims," leaving AFD helpless to protect the town against medical emergencies requiring an ambulance.
These days the AFD is busy enough as it is.
Two months ago when the Mullins Center hosted a Rusko concert the results were almost as bad, with 8 patient transports in a very short period tying up all five ambulances.
This Saturday Amherst, UMass and State Police are on high alert for end of semester party hijinks. Extravaganja, extolling the virtues of marijuana, is expected to attract 5,000 pot patrons to the town common. Ominously, the Mullins Center is once again promoting a "performance"--Fantazia-- that appears to be tailor made to produce drug and alcohol overdoses.
A "360 degree dance experience" means folks will be engaged in physical exertion, combined with a tad too much alcohol or drugs in a warm venue under pulsating lights can quickly lead to medical problems.
AFD will have 9 professional firefighters on during the day (normal staffing is 7) increased to 11 as darkness descends (three of them stationed at the Mullins Center) with an additional medic riding along with APD. Chief Nelson and Assistant Chief's Stromgren and McKay will also be hovering.
Still, the centre may not hold.
Terrifying enough we routinely play Russian roulette with a single round in the chamber, on Saturday night there may be as many as three. Click, click...