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Winnipeg Folk Fest staff have Naloxone in case of fentanyl overdose

Winnipeg Folk Fest kicked off Thursday. Global News File Photo

WINNIPEG — For the first time ever Winnipeg Folk Festival staff now carry naloxone, the antidote for fentanyl.

All first aid team members have been trained and have access to the kits, which can reverse the deadly effects of a fentanyl overdose.

“Even if you never anticipate an issue you always make sure you have the equipment for it,” said Paul Laporte, Protection and Wellness Coordinator for Folk Fest.

Event organizers say drug use is not a major issue saying it’s decreased over its 44 year history.

Laporte says on average they have one ambulance call a day for a variety of reasons. Wednesday night a camper was taken to hospital for a dislocated shoulder.

“Occasionally we have somebody that’s had too much of whatever substance, generally alcohol, truth be told and we for their protection transport them out to get them medically looked at,” Laporte said.

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Event goers are happy staff are prepared.

“It is a crisis so it’s good that everybody is prepared for that,” said Zander Strike, who’s been going for eight years.

“It’s a really good idea,” said Joanie French. “A lot of the time you don’t really know what’s going into anything and people will take a random thing here, it’s kind of that environment so it’s really good to have a backup plan.”

The 44th annual Folk Fest wraps up Sunday night.