Emergency medical personnel provide security at the Hannibal BBQ Festival

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HANNIBAL (WGEM) – Northeastern Missouri Emergency Medical Services set up tents with cooling stations for the Hannibal BBQ Festival.

Marion County Ambulance District crews said they saw the heat coming a few weeks ago and have developed a plan in case attendees become ill from the heat over the weekend.

Event coordinator Jason Krigbaum said festival staff did everything they could to make the heat a bit bearable for visitors.

“People who are having a bit of a hard time, we give them side-by-side rides in and out of where they’ll be going at an event,” Krigbaum said. “And just trying to keep everyone hydrated as best we can.”

Emergency response was already expected to be on standby at the event, but once extreme heat became a factor, event staff and paramedics knew they would have to work together to ensure the safety of attendants.

“We’re doing our best with the fans, they’re set up in the tents, the beer tents,” Krigbaum said. “Marion County Ambulance took on most of the work of putting on cool fans throughout the event.”

Marion County Ambulance District Division Chief Eric Murfin said his team has developed a plan to help alleviate any heat-related illnesses visitors may have.

Several misting fans and cooling centers were placed at the event site.

The Marion County Ambulance District also had an ambulance on site should an emergency require them to transport a patient for offsite treatment.

Murfin advised attendants to be careful when in the heat for long periods of time, even if they have already received medical attention.

“Remember, once it affects you once, it will affect you much faster,” Murfin said. “So our people who are starting to feel the effects, if they go to a cool environment and drink water and then go back into the sun, they are much more likely to have a new reaction. ”

Murfin also said any attendant with pre-existing health conditions should take extra precautions because the heat can increase the risk of illness.

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