Tony walks into the Plaza. Inside, an air conditioner the size of a small car roars. Water, ice (lots of ice), and medical supplies—organized on large roller carts—are made ready before the gates open at 6:30 p.m. The room holds three patient beds, separated by curtains, and two cots to transport patients to ambulances outside. Tony talks with Nancy Pook, MD, tonight’s on-site physician. A digital wall clock reads 6:21. A wave of heat cuts through the artificially cooled air as the Plaza doors open. Stadium staff bring in two women who collapsed outside the gate—and the room snaps into action. 1,400 hours of preparation The Cincinnati Music Festival is the second stadium event for Kettering Health’s Emergency Outreach team since the Bengals announced Kettering Health as their official healthcare provider in May 2022. As part of the partnership, the Outreach team provides pre-hospital services to concertgoers and fans in the stadium. Four days after the announcement, the Outreach team arrived for their first stadium event: a weekend of Garth Brooks concerts. But weeks before Brooks took the stage, they needed to create protocols, transport supplies, and learn the ins-and-outs of the 1.8-million-square-foot stadium. “We put in 1,400 hours of preparation,” says Tony. This included meetings among Outreach team leaders such as Tony, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Cincinnati Fire and Police departments, and stadium staff. As Bill Mangas, Kettering Health’s executive director of Emergency and Trauma Outreach, put it, “We did in six weeks what would normally take six months.” Event medicine is nothing new for the Outreach team, who have served at many local events, such as the Dayton Air Show and the Air Force Marathon. But preparing to provide care on a scale the size of a football stadium requires experience and ingenuity. “The challenges are different at a stadium versus a 26.1-mile course,” explains Tony. “At the stadium, nearly 70,000 people are confined in a small space. You’re preparing care for a small city.” —Continued on page 10 Baptism by rainwater Ready as they were for the Garth Brooks concerts, Tony’s team unexpectedly found their preparations—and themselves—baptized by rainwater. That Saturday night, severe weather forced the stadium’s leadership to issue its first-ever “shelter in place” order, flooding the stadium’s tunnels with 80,000 people—more than the populations of Kettering and Centerville combined. It offered an unexpected test of the team’s planning and communication. They exceeded expectations. “This was the largest event we’ve had at the stadium,” says Steve Johnson, managing director of Paycor Stadium. “At that capacity, with the weather, they were where they needed to be, and their communication remained clear and effective.” ketteringhealth.org 9 “At the stadium, nearly 70,000 people are confined in a small space. You’re preparing care for a small city.” —Tony Alexander Katie Ball, RN, assesses one of the night's first patients.