Pemberton Music Festival outlines anti-overdose strategy

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Pemberton Music Festival: Boom or bust for the local economy
WATCH: With the Pemberton Music Festival underway, the local community is looking for benefits of having 60,000 extra people in their neighbourhood. Ted Chernecki looks at what they are doing to prepare for this hopeful influx. – Jul 15, 2016

UPDATE: There were five overdoses on the first night of the festival, but none were fatal and everyone was treated at the site.

Thousands of music lovers are enjoying this weekend’s Pemberton Music Festival and in the wake of B.C.’s so-called ‘drug overdose crisis’, organizers are laying out their plans to make sure party-goers stay safe.

Organizers say they have hired a private service provider to run the on-site medical response.

Trauma doctors and nurses will be on site and they are trained to recognize fentanyl and will be equipped with the naloxone antidote.

There will also be amnesty boxes for festival-goers to safely dispose of any banned substances prior to entry.

The local medical centre has also had to stock up on supplies and increase staff should there be a medical emergency that the festival’s own medical team couldn’t handle.

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“With any amount of large gathering, you could have a major disaster, so we’ve planned for that,” said Cindy Steller, the Pemberton Medical Centre Manager.

READ MORE: Heavy traffic expected on Sea-to-Sky Highway this weekend for Pemberton Music Festival

In 2014, a 21-year-old man from Regina was found dead in his tent at the festival. Investigators originally called his death ‘suspicious’ but results showed that was not the case.

READ MORE: Photo of garbage left behind at Pemberton Music Festival goes viral

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