AFD ambulance backing into south entrance Mullins Center late last night
Friday night into early Saturday morning, although certainly stressed, our emergency medical system worked. Most times, the center holds.
At the first major Electronic Dance Music concert of the semester-- 'Life In Color" paint party -- a dozen patrons required ambulance transport from the Mullins Center to either Cooley Dickinson Hospital in nearby Northampton, Holyoke Medical Center and/or Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.
Additional hospitals were used in order to keep Cooley Dickinson emergency ward from being overwhelmed, as this weekend is a busy time throughout the Valley.
The first call for an ETOH patron occurred at 8:00 PM, and Mullins Center Command terminated just after midnight.
In addition to the dozen transports -- 11 of which were alcohol related (ETOH) -- AFD's on site command center overseen by Chief Tim Nelson treated and released an additional 14 patrons for self induced illness brought on by substance abuse.
Agawam and Easthampton FD were contracted to assist AFD
AFD brought in two outside ambulances, one from Easthampton and the other from Agawam, to deal directly with Mullins Center patients so as to keep the five AFD ambulances available for the rest of the town.
The concert attracted 3,000 patrons and from around 10 PM into the early morning hours a stream of scantily clad college aged youth could be seen traversing Commonwealth Avenue from the Mullins Center back to Southwest Residential area, many of them stained with pink paint.
Chief Nelson was quite satisfied with overall response of his department, quoting baseball great Ernie Banks "We're all here, we might as well play."
"People are going to imbibe too much, that's just a reality," said the Chief, who summed it up succinctly:
"We planned for this and we trained for it ... The system worked."
The next major Mullins Center challenge will occur over for Halloween weekend. Let's hope it does not sell out with 9,000 vs the 3,000 youth who attended last night's event ...
Umass after dark last night (Mullins Center top left)