Beating the heat at Riverbend - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Beating the heat at Riverbend

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - As music lovers continue flocking to Riverbend, having a good time is probably the only thing on their minds. However, sometimes it's hard not to think about the heat and humidity. Typically, temperatures climb to around 90° with a heat index of 95°.

"Dehydration or heat exposure always ends up being our biggest concerns," says Lt. Tony Sylvester of Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

This is his 25th year working at the festival. He says 85% of the patients seen by his staff 9-day event end up at one of their tents due to heat-related problems.

"We'll transport 2 or 3 off venue each night that we can't take care of at the tent that need to be seen at a hospital, but this year's not been particularly worse that any other," adds Sylvester.

He says most people don't realize the amount of fluids needed to battle the conditions. The best thing to do is simply drink plenty of water--not just before you go, but also while you're there.

"For those festival goers who are drinking, maybe take a break from the beer every so often," urges Sylvester. "Drink you a water."

According to the National Weather Service, thousands of people across the United States each year suffer from heat-related illnesses, resulting in around 175 fatalities. EMS is here to help.

"We have several of these five-gallon water jugs and what we provide is, each night, we'll ice water down in jugs for anyone who wants it," says Sylvester. "It's free of charge."

Also, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and know the signs of heat exhaustion. If you start to come down with symptoms such as muscle cramps, excessive sweating, weakness, or dizziness, just call out for help if you can't get to an EMS tent.

"We have roving crews that can go to where they are to assist them back to our aid tent," adds Sylvester.

One tent is on Chestnut Street a short distance into the main entrance on the Aquarium side. The other is under the Olgiati Bridge. Riverbend runs through Saturday night, June 13.
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