Thousands upon thousands of bikers, locals and revelers alike will pour into downtown Sandusky tonight for the largest block party of the season.
With Ohio Bike Week comes good times, ample drinks and the sound of engines revving for miles around, but so does the certainty that emergencies will arise.
Whether it's a drunken fist fight, alcohol poisoning or just general mayhem, some Bike Week attendees surely will require the services of Sandusky's emergency personnel tonight.
Sandusky police Chief John Orzech and Sandusky interim fire Chief Jim Green discussed how police officers and firefighters will navigate the dense crowd and get to those who need help quickly.
Just as in years past, there will be beefed-up police foot patrols throughout the downtown area and a police command center is staged in the lot near the city parking garage on Market Street, Orzech said.
“If there is an emergency and you don't see anyone nearby, call 911—but between us and (Bike Week) security, there's usually someone within a half-block,” Orzech said.
As for paramedic services, Green said several firefighters will be inside the venue throughout the day and evening, equipped with a Gator-type cart to move about quickly.
If someone does need to go to the hospital—or is arrested, for that matter—firefighters and officers will escort the person to access points at the fringes of the crowd, where ambulances or police cruisers can easily usher them away.
But of course, both Orzech and Green hope there will be as little need for their respective departments as possible.
Green recommended folks watch their alcohol intake and be aware of their surroundings.
“The number of arrests compared to the sheer volume of people at the venue has been pretty miniscule, historically,” Orzech said.
Hopefully it stays that way this year.
“We're proactive and know people are here to have a good time. Some of the stuff we tolerate (at Bike Week), we don't normally tolerate in the 'real world',” Orzech said.
If an emergency does arise, however, don't hesitate to flag emergency responders down or dial 911, the chiefs said.