Metro police, fire departments over-preparing for busy New Year's Eve weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - With multiple events going on at the same time downtown this weekend, Metro Police, Nashville Fire and Vanderbilt Medical Center are fully preparing for the tens of thousands of people expected to show up.

On Sunday, there is a Titan's game, Predator's game, Jimmy Buffet concert and, of course, the New Year's Eve bash.

Over 600 police officers and security personnel will be downtown and at Bicentennial mall, the new location for the annual note drop.

"For our special events we always put a lot of our officers on the street," said Sgt. John Bourque with the Metro Police Department. "We don't want to be one of those cities where something really bad happens and we didn't staff it properly."

Metro Police will be monitoring cameras, the K-9 unit will do a bomb sweep and for the first time ever, the crowd will walk through metal detectors.

The Nashville Fire Department will also have extra personnel on hand and special patrols throughout downtown.

"We're going to have a lot of people downtown so we want to make sure we have enough personnel on the ground in case anyone needs help or something happens," said Fire Department spokesperson Joseph Pleasant.

He told News 2 that paramedics will be on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to quickly get to people in distress.

"It just doesn't work to try and get in an ambulance into that dense area," he said. "So the ATVs allow us to get into the crowd, get to someone and more importantly, get them out."

The Fire Department will have two sites where they will pick up people in ambulances. One is at Bicentennial Mall and the other is at Bridgestone Arena.

Vanderbilt's LifeFlight team will also be present at the downtown and mall sites.

30 physicians, nurses and paramedics will be spread out between various first-aid tents and six heated medical tents for on-site treatment. They will also be prepared in case of a mass shooting or terrorist attack.

"Unfortunately that's the day and time that we live in now," said Eric Newnan, LifeFlight Event Medicine Operations Manager. "Therefore our team is gearing up and doing a lot of training on tactical emergency causality care. We also have plenty of medical supplies on hand such as tourniquets, combat galls, pressure dressings, things of that nature."

In addition to extra security measures, the Sheriff is making sure people get home safely. 2nd Avenue S will be shut down between Broadway and Demonbreun for the Sheriff's annual 'Sober Ride Home'. It's a free ride home for anyone who needs it on New Year's Eve.

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