Crowd Care Purpose HEST Paramedical “Crowd Care” teams work with the goal being to encourage ‘safer activity’ to reduce the likelihood of harm occurring from alcohol and other drug use at music festivals and events. This is achieved by utilising teams of predominantly age appropriate member to engage festival patrons in brief ‘information sharing’ conversations whilst roving or within the Chill Out Space at music festivals. We also use the “shared experience” approach where members are able to talk about real shared experiences and not just a theory based approach, this enables festival goers to get actual lived experiences by people who have been there.
In addition to being trained in Alcohol and Other Drug peer education, crews are trained to recognise signs and symptoms of:
- Alcohol and other drug emergencies - Eat related illness - Other medical emergencies
Several team member are also registered Paramedics and/or Nurses and they readily use their skills to help identify potential issues and ensure timely response. while ‘roving’ they will act as spotters for patrons in distress and ensure that First Aid assistance is acquired from the on-site medical provider when required.
Key messages include: 1. The importance of staying hydrated – The crew will make patrons aware of free water stations and encourage them to drink appropriate amounts of water, as well as to take regular breaks to cool body temperatures down and reduce fluid loss through sweat.
2. Looking after your mates –crew encourage greater awareness of monitoring friends who are ‘under the influence’ and getting assistance early if in doubt of their physical or mental state. They dispel myths about medical staff alerting the police to illicit drug use; hence encouraging self-presentation to the onsite medical provider before symptoms reach emergency point.
3. Alcohol and other drug use can lead to risk taking behaviour including driving under the influence –crews remind patrons to plan their transport home ahead of time. Throughout the event particularly towards the end of it, patrons will be encouraged to plan a safe way home, find their friends, and to leaving before the majority of the crowd does.