Components of the Indiana State Fair’s new emergency management plan have been put to the test several times during the fair. Members of the legislative committee that oversee the fair say they are pleased with the results.
In the wake of last year’s stage collapse, the fair’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan was created to deal with issues ranging from weather events to public safety emergencies. So far, the plan has been tested by storms, a lost child and an incident Sunday in which a stagecoach overturned during a show at the Coliseum, injuring five people, though none seriously.
State Fair COO David Shaw says first responders were on the scene of the accident “while the stagecoach’s wheels were still turning.”
Indianapolis Republican Senator James Merritt is the co-chair of the Indiana State Fair Advisory Committee and says he is very pleased with the plan’s success.
“I think that stagecoach incident is a very good example of, we were right on it and everybody was safe and secure and one person spent the night in the hospital and was released early the next day,” he says.
Indianapolis Democratic Senator Jean Breaux says the plan has worked well so far but knows the Fair must continue working on it.
“Will they be able to anticipate everything? No, probably not…but I think that they have put enough in place that they can at least get those that are weather-related and those that are emergency-related and they can start to address those,” she says.
Both Merritt and Breaux say the emergency management plan is a living document that will be continually updated and improved.