For the second time in four years, the Kern County Fire Department was authorized to provide management and emergency support at the Lightning in a Bottle music festival. This was accomplished through a Unified Command with Kern County Park Rangers. This year’s festival saw a peak attendance of around 27,000 and a weather event producing triple-digit temperatures. With the influx of persons into our county, we are grateful for the collaborative support of the many agencies involved to ensure all could recreate safely. Partner agencies included KC EMS, CHP, KC General Services, KC Public Works, KC Environmental Health, KC Behavioral Health, KC Planning Department, and Hall Ambulance.
The following is an overview of emergency support provided during the festival (5/25-5/30): Fire & EMS personnel staged on scene 24 hours a day with all necessary equipment and vehicles to ensure a prompt and appropriate response in the event of an emergency. County EMS personnel responded to 30 calls for medical service. Of those calls 24 required transport to local hospitals for treatment and 2 persons died* after suffering an acute medical emergency. All patients treated by County EMS responders were treated within the standard scope of medical protocols under the authority of Kern County EMS.
During the festival KCFD personnel also responded to two nonmedical calls for service.
*On Saturday, May 28th KCFD personnel were called to treat an event guest who suffered an acute medical emergency. The patient passed away after being transported to a local hospital.
On Sunday, May 29th KCFD personnel were called to treat an event guest who suffered an acute medical emergency. The patient was pronounced dead on site.
Both medical emergencies which resulted in death occurred in the privacy of their own shelter, in the camping area outside of the main festival area.