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State Fairgrounds Open With New Safety Measures In Place

Close to one year after the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, officials have opened the fairgrounds with new safety measures in place.

  • Indiana State Fair

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    Photo: Joe Hren

    Workers get concession booths ready at the State Fair.

  • David Shaw

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    Photo: Joe Hren

    Chief Operating Officer, David Shaw

During investigations of the collapse a major problem became obvious, there was not one person with sole authority to take whatever actions necessary to protect fair-goers. This year it’s different.

“All eyes are on us. We have an enormous responsibility to perform well and do well and we’re extremely prepared to do so,” Chief Operating Officer David Shaw says.

Shaw says he is the one being held accountable. He helped develop a comprehensive emergency plan to make sure the next few weeks go by without incident.

New measures include an internal inspection team and an e-mail and phone notification system called Blackboard Connect.

“We have anywhere between 2 to 3 people in every single building of the fairgrounds who are keyed into the Blackboard Connect System who are going through Safety Monitor training.”

All fair concessionaires, exhibitors and vendors have to participate in an online training and exam registration.

Lucian Anderson and his grandson Devante picked up their certification for boarding horses.

“It’s not overwhelming, but it does bring certain things to light, just keeps you in the loop and makes sure you’re prepared when people come on the fairgrounds,” Anderson says.

Anderson says among other things, the exam reinforces how to direct people in the event of an emergency.

For his part, Shaw says he will be on site during the entire fair, staying in administration building quarters.

Joe Hren

Anchor, Indiana Newsdesk - WTIU & WFIU News. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_Hren

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