This year’s Hangout Festival, which drew thousands of fun-loving, though sometimes dehydrated, music lovers to the beaches of Gulf Shores, had specialized medical services from a company called ParaDocs.
The company started five years ago as an emergency medical service working at New York events, but it now provides on-site medical services for fashion shows, music festivals and sporting events around the nation. Its staffers were seen in a social media clip April 10 loading injured World Wrestling Entertainment star Roman Reigns into an ambulance during a “Monday Night RAW” match.
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At large music festivals like Hangout, the goal is for the locally hired medical staff, including doctors and paramedics, to be able to reach a festivalgoer in distress and get them back to the medical tent, usually with the help of a specialized four-wheel utility vehicle. Many of the medical calls at such events relate to drug use, and getting patients time-critical overdose treatment can save lives, according to the ParaDocs website.
“What is different about what we do is that instead of having 20 ambulances ready to take anyone that is in serious condition to the hospital, we have doctors and nurses who have the ability to treat most patients on-site, ” says ParaDocs founder and CEO Alex Pollak.
While based in New York, the company hires local medical professionals for its various events because they know the local medical delivery infrastructure, says Pollak, who planned to attend Hangout. He estimates 100 per diem jobs related to medical care were created by the May festival in Gulf Shores.
Text by Dave Helms