GET SOCIAL 
SHOP NOW AT:
WRANGLER.COM

A Silent Presence

EMS, fire departments stand by in case of emergency at St. Paul Rodeo

Bull rider Chase Robbins rides at the 2015 St. Paul Rodeo. It takes the efforts of the St. Paul Fire Department and area crews to deal with the situations that arise when 50,000 people hit the town for the Fourth of July festivities. Photo by Hoot Creek.

Bull rider Chase Robbins rides at the 2015 St. Paul Rodeo. It takes the efforts of the St. Paul Fire Department and area crews to deal with the situations that arise when 50,000 people hit the town for the Fourth of July festivities. Photo by Hoot Creek.

St. Paul, Ore. (June 23, 2016) – They’re a silent part of the St. Paul Rodeo, and they’re there in case they are needed, but a person hopes to never have use for one.

They are the emergency medical services people, and when the rodeo rolls around every Fourth of July week, they are on hand to deal with the situations that come up when about 50,000 people head to town for the rodeo and its activities.

Bryan Lee is the fire chief for the St. Paul Fire Department, and it is his crew that volunteers the ambulance and fire service at the event. In case one ambulance leaves to make a call, the Newberg Fire Department is contracted to also be on hand.

The rodeo is one of the busier times of the year for the St. Paul Fire Department, Lee said. Emergencies at the rodeo can include diabetes and cardiac scares, as well as asthma attacks. “People come to the rodeo with all the horses and dust and forget their asthma medication. We treat them and get them stabilized and to the hospital, if needed.”

The weather can also play a factor. “If it’s a hot year, dehydration is a problem, especially with the elderly.”

While the St. Paul Department has a crew at the rodeo, they are still responsible for their district, which is 35 square miles in size. The department has a part-time medic, but the rest of the crew is made up of volunteers who are invested in their community. “The guys take a lot of pride in what they do,” Lee said. “They volunteer because they know that if their barn catches fire, they want somebody to come and put it out, and they help out their neighbors, too.”

Bordering fire departments in Woodburn, Dundee, Newberg, Aurora and Hubbard are also asked to help with the event and students in the fire science program at Chemeketa Community College man the first aid booth and provide manpower for fire suppression alongside the other departments.

Lee enjoys the rodeo, but also is glad when it’s over. The rodeo “is very exhausting, but it’s a fun thing, and we’re looking forward to the next year.”

The 81st annual rodeo kicks off with a night of PBR bull riding on June 30. Then pro rodeo fills the other nights, July 1-4, with evening performances, and a 1 pm matinee on July 4. Tickets range in price from $16 to $30 and can be purchased online at StPaulRodeo.com, at the rodeo office, and at the gate. For more information, visit the website at StPaulRodeo.com.