August 15, 2014 7:54 pm

WATCH: Added safety measures at Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

SALMON ARM – It’s been a busy day for staff and volunteers as they completed last minute preparations for the 22nd annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

As usual, big crowds are expected and hundreds of volunteers are helping keep the event running smoothly.

“Some of them have been here for the full 20 years since this first started in a community hall outside of town and they are so passionate about it. Some of them take part of their summer holidays just to come work here for a week,” says artistic director Peter North.

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The organizers have also put some new safety and health measures in place this year.

New this year, organizers have brought in Jill Torgersen to do addictions and mental health outreach.

“Basically I’m just going to be around in the event that there is anyone in crisis or having any trauma or any you know alcohol related problems,” says Torgersen.

It’s not the only way the festival has boosted its emergency preparedness.

“This year we’ve invited every off duty ambulance attendant from Kamloops to Armstrong, and everything in between, just to be our guests at the festival. That way, our regular crowd will be peppered with people who understand emergency procedures,” says general manager Jay Scott.

The festival kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday.

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