Extra festival safety measures ready

Dr Phil Smith from Westmead Hospital’s emergency department is part of NSW Health’s festival safety media campaign.

NSW Health is preparing high-level critical care medical teams and additional harm reduction measures for multiple high-risk festivals this Australia Day long weekend.

Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said as well as boosting medical teams at the three festivals, there will be additional free chilled water, larger shaded chill out spaces and more roving peer educators to spot danger signs.

“NSW Health has put multiple harm reduction measures in place ahead of what is forecast to be a very hot long weekend, to do all we can to prevent deaths at these events,” Dr Chant said.

“We are urging festival-goers to go to the medical tents immediately if they’ve taken a party drug and feel unwell. Don’t delay it, seek help for yourself and your mates early, it could be the difference between life and death.”

The following safety measures will be implemented at the Electric Gardens, Hardcore Till I Die and Rolling Loud Australia festivals this weekend:

  • Three critical care doctors, a critical care paramedic and four ED nurses will be at all three major events, in addition to on site festival medical teams;
  • Additional peer educators supporting festival-goers with safety messages;
  • An extra 2600 bottles of free chilled water will be handed out to crowds by peer educators and available in chill out spaces at each event;
  • Large volumes of free, electrolyte drink will be available at multiple stations throughout the festivals;
  • Shaded chill out spaces with furniture to lay or sit down to relax, fans or air conditioning to cool body temperatures, phone charging facilities and first-aid kits; and
  • Extra signage directing festival-goers to medical tents, chill out spaces and free water.

An extensive NSW Health social media campaign featuring doctors, paramedics and a young drug overdose survivor reminding people to get help quickly is now online and can be accessed here.

“MDMA can kill,” Dr Chant said.

“If you’re at a festival this weekend, look after yourself and your mates.

“If you or a friend is confused, dizzy, too hot, vomiting or has a fast heart rate, get to the medical tent fast. You won’t get into trouble, health staff are there to help you.”