Substantial input from the concert organizers proved to be an invaluable resource in key decisions. Contracted event security worked closely with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to ensure orderly conduct and safety of all concert patrons. Public safety services from surrounding counties would also provide additional resources in terms of equipment and expanded communication capabilities.
Finally, event day arrived, and the Luke Bryan “Farm Tour” concert proved to be a success for all involved. Thanks to the meticulous efforts of those charged with the task of onsite general safety, recordable incidents were kept at a minimum. Fire inspectors also assured structural integrity of all assembled platforms was never compromised.
Managing a rural Fire Department that typically employs a select staff of part-time employees presents its own set of challenges. Rural Fire/EMS department administrators often find themselves devoting more uncompensated personal time and efforts in assuring that their department is in compliance with all applicable laws, codes and regulations.
These day-to-day challenges can prove to be overwhelming to the administrative staff, and likewise to the part-time and volunteer staff who also have to juggle other employment and home life.
The general public is largely unaware of these issues and may even take for granted the availability of the service itself, without realizing the tremendous sacrifices required.
Residents of communities such as Mechanicsburg are fortunate to have dedicated citizens who choose to accept the challenges and responsibilities of making sure the public enjoys a safe community to live in. We encourage all those who reside in small, rural communities to extend your support to these safety services at every opportunity. They are truly the definition of “the unsung hero.”
Steve Castle is the Assistant Fire Chief/EMS Coordinator for the Mechanicsburg Fire Department.