VANDALIA – Anyone familiar with the Vectren Dayton Air Show knows that the show is not only famous for incredible air acts, but also hot weather.
With our news partners at WDTN forecasting air show weekend weather in the low-to-mid 80s and sunshine, conditions are favorable for spectacular flying … as well as heat-related health issues.
Bill Mangas, Trauma & EMS Outreach Manager for the Kettering Health Network, serves as medical operations manager for the Vectren Dayton Air Show.
Mangas coordinates more than one hundred firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, and equipment, volunteers all, to be ready to handle any emergency that might occur during the air show.
A number of emergency medical workers, including many from Miami County, volunteer their time to work at the Dayton Air Show. Mangas said that among the medical professionals on hand this year will be bicycle-mounted paramedics from the Troy Fire Department.
Cases range from stubbed toes to heart attacks, for the medical staff.
Treatment options range from the dispensing of Band-Aides to utilizing MedFlight and CareFlight to transport patients quickly off the grounds to local trauma centers for care.
“CareFlight and MedFlight allow us to have a quick version of evacuation from the show,” said Mangas, “to where we can by-pass traffic, get up and out of here very quickly to get patients to the nearest big hospital.”
Some air show patrons have voiced concerns in the past that having medical helicopters “tied up” at the air show, might deprive someone of emergency medical evacuation somewhere else in the area. That is not true as both MedFlight and CareFlight have multiple helicopters stationed around the Miami Valley.
Mangas said that performances by acts such as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds require that a medical helicopter be on site.
The presence of the “birds” serves other reasons, as well. They are available for use in other emergencies involving the air show, obviously, but they are, in fact, quite popular aircraft for visitors to air shows as well. The pilots and medical crews, when not caring for a patient, love to let children and adults look inside their helicopters and answer questions from the public.
Medical emergencies include heart attacks, stroke, and diabetic issues. A majority of air show medical situations are heat-related, said Mangas. “On average, we will see between 125 and 175 cases over the weekend. Most of those are heat-related, however many of those are very minor things, such as a headache or toothache. But a majority of what we see are truly heat-related.
Dayton Airshow Medical Operations Manager Bill Mangas offers some tips on staying medically safe at the 2016 Vectren Dayton Air Show.
“Make sure that you take your medicines in the morning, like you normally do. Drink plenty of water before you get to the show and continue to drink water at the show. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. We always recommend a hat and sunglasses. Take frequent breaks when you are out here. There is not a lot of shade, so make sure that you are drinking (water) routinely and sitting down to cool off as often as you need to. And, ultimately, if they don’t feel well, make sure that they come find us.”
“We have two field hospitals,” said Mangas, “that are staffed by nurses, ER Techs, doctors. And then we have roughly 40 fire and EMS providers that patrol.” Emergency medical staff will be patrolling on foot, on bicycle, and on “Gators” to help assure that the 2016 Vectren Dayton Air Show is not only fun, but safe.