Emergency responders have reported treating more than 300 people for heat exhaustion during a concert at Monmouth Park racetrack Sunday afternoon. They said 19 people had to be taken from the scene to nearby hospitals, as of 5:05 pm Sunday.
Mike Bascom, the Monmouth County EMS Coordinator, said that event planners had been prepared with "dozens of ambulances" and "70 or 80 EMTs" in accordance with a plan that had been in discussion since March. But with temperatures reaching the high 90s at the outdoor event Sunday, Bascom said, "We got hit pretty hard with waves of patients and at one point we did have to call in additional ambulances to handle transports to local hospitals."
Most of those affected by the heat were treated at the scene, he said. "We have doctors in the (medical) tents and EMTs."
Bascom said that many of those afflicted were young people suffering from dehydration.
Warped Tour promoter Kevin Lyman said that ambulances had been stationed at the scene largely as a precaution against the continuing heat wave. However, they were put into action when many in the audience began fainting or complaining of heat-related symptoms. Shortly after 3:30 pm, people could be seen being put onto stretchers and transported to treatment stations or waiting ambulances.
The event, featuring more than 50 bands, drew more than 13,000, many of them between the ages of 13 and 25, according to organizers. It was the third year that it has been held at the racetrack, which also featured 12 races on Sunday.
In addition to the planned emergency medical presence described by Bascom, promoters had announced that Klean Kanteen would be providing free filtered water refilling stations to keep concertgoers hydrated. Bottled water was on sale for $3 a bottle.
Featured bands included Toms River's River City Extension, Less Than Jake, Asking Alexandria and dance punks The Ready Set. Several stages were set up, along with promotional tents selling music and distributing free keepsakes.