From CMA Fest to concerts at Bridgestone Arena, Matt Fuson is used to handling emergencies in big crowds.
“We’re already there on site with EMTs, paramedics, nurses, and physicians,” Fuson said.
He’s a supervisor with Vanderbilt LifeFlight Event Medicine and will be one of many first responders downtown for the NFL Draft.
“It takes us longer to navigate through the streets, navigate through the people,” Fuson said.
To make it easier on first responders, the NFL will have people called “grabbers” assigned to move hydraulic and concrete barriers out of the way.
Fuson’s team will be working other events near the draft like the Jimmy Buffett concert.
They’re bringing in extra staff to handle the injuries they typically see in large crowds.
“Sprained ankles, blisters,” he said.
One of the biggest emergencies they’ve ever responded to was the Vans Warped Tour Festival at the Nashville Fairgrounds in July.
They treated about 250 people and more than 30 were rushed to the hospital, Fuson said.
“It escalated very quickly to what we consider to be a mass casualty because we had so many people being overcome by heat,” he said.
With 300,000 people expected downtown draft weekend, Fuson says they’ve already got a plan in place.
“We are going to up-staff ourselves,” Fuson said. “Then, we’re also gonna have some additional floating ambulances.”