FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS)– The 2023 State Fair of West Virginia continues, and while having fun is the goal, it is also important to stay safe during your visit.
The fair features so many fun and wonderful things, but it also requires lots of walking and lots of being outside in the hot sun to get there.
It is so easy to become dehydrated, fatigued and even sunburnt if you don’t take precautions.
“It’s important to drink at least two or three bottles of water if you’re going to be in here for a day,” said Edd Swepston, First Aid Coordinator at the fair.
Luckily, the fair’s first aid station is stocked full of any equipment and medical supplies anyone could possibly need, including sunscreen, band-aids and more.
Swepston said for the first time ever, they also used a brand new ATV that can easily move vital equipment around the fair.
“We had a concert and there were a lot of people dancing, and it was hot, and people got some heat exhaustion,” said Swepston. “We were able to get in the crowd with that unit rather than trying to take an ambulance in there, we loaded them up and then you can snake your way out.”
In fact, Swepston said they have already used the life-saving vehicle several times.
Swepston said they used the four-wheeler after a car accident, and it could easily maneuver down the hill and get the injured man onto the stretcher.
To take safety a step further, fair staff is also extremely diligent about ensuring each ride at the fair is working properly.
“We have a three-point inspection here at the State Fair of West Virginia, and I know Reithoffer Shows does as well- they take ride safety very seriously,” said Kelly Collins, the Chief Executive Officer of the fair. “They’ve got their own safety protocols that they follow, we bring in a third party inspector and then finally we cannot open a ride without a state sticker that shows it’s been inspected by the West Virginia Department of Labor.”
Collins added they hire private security and use metal detectors at the gate to keep weapons out. The fair also has several paramedics and ambulances on standby to aid in any emergency situation.
Overall, the fair is all about having fun with friends and family, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.