Two airlifted from concert

Published 10:50 pm Monday, August 31, 2009

Despite the presence of more than 40 emergency personnel at En Fuego on Saturday, the festival was not free of injuries.

Two female patients were transported by helicopter to area hospitals after an apparent body surfing incident resulted in accidental falls, according to officials.

The patients, one 14-year-old and another thought to be in her early 20s, both complained of neck pain and numbness in their legs and feet.

EMS coordinator Teresa Marcus said the incident occurred near the end of the event as the crowd in the pit area near the stage became excited. The event’s emcee reportedly warned the crowd to back away from the stage.

“I don’t think there were any fractures or anything life threatening,” Marcus said, adding that the patients were flown out as a precautionary measure, mainly due to the type of symptoms.

Marcus also said the patients who were transported were not participants in the activity, which she said occurred in a matter of seconds.

Both were fallen on by others in the crowd.

“They were just innocent bystanders,” she said. “It was just a crowd reaction.”

A total of 46 emergency personnel were on site at En Fuego, with paramedics and RNs divided into four sections of the crowd.

Each had identifying flags and two-way radios. Also, a large tent was set up strictly for emergencies.

Landing zones for Air Evac and LifeSaver were set up at CRH and the Verbena High School football field.

“We as a board take it seriously that we have people in place on scene so that if there is an injury we have the people who can handle it,” said En Fuego Board member Kevin George. “We do try to be very prepared, but with that many people there is always the risk of something happening.”

A few others were transported by ambulance, but they were minor injuries such as bruises or heat exhaustion.