By Coralie Ganivet
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It’s a Hellfest opening that will go down in history. And tomorrow, Saturday, promises to be just as hot. “We have already known the heat wave at the festival, especially in 2017″, remembers Sébastien, first aider at the SNSM, “but we were closer to 35-36°C than 40°”.
Drink two glasses of water for one beer
With these announced heat, the organization yesterday lifted a constraint usually imposed on festival-goers: gourds and water bottles are allowed. Still, you obviously have to think about taking them out as often as possible: “You shouldn’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink,” advises the rescuer.
And of course water! “Contrary to the refreshing effect that a beer can have, alcohol tends to dehydrate because of the sugar,” he informs. So obviously, there is no question of depriving yourself of everything, but the idea is to keep in mind a simple rule:
For a beer, we drink two glasses of water.
Don’t eat too much fat
Same side food, it is important to fill the belly. But preferably not with just anything… “You have to favor fruits and vegetables because they have a high water content, and do not eat too much fat”.
Take advantage of the water walls
Two large walls of water rotate permanently on the site. They must be an inevitable crossing point, and frequent, for all festival-goers. “It’s so hot that you dry out very quickly, so don’t hesitate to make more passes during the day”, notes the rescuer who obviously reminds of the importance of slathering on sun cream, protecting your skull and to seek as much shade as possible.
Sunstroke, dehydration: spot the signs
The two biggest risks with such heat are obviously sunstroke and dehydration. The signs are easy to spot: dizziness, blurred vision, feeling of choking…
If that happens, you have to land quietly in the shade. And if that doesn’t pass, come and see the rescuers.
What is the device in place?
The aid station is based between the Altar stage and the large inflatable skull. In total, nearly 70 SNSM first aiders, from everywhere in France (the bulk of the contingent comes from Rennes, but others arrive from Normandy, Brittany, the Alps, etc.), are deployed on the site and the campsite.
The emergency system is supplemented by doctors and nurses. “And paramedics are present if there is a need to evacuate to the hospital”.
Rescuers know that the weekend promises to be very busy. Even more than usual with these extreme temperatures that the music honored by the festival for the 15e times since its creation in 2006.
“We have already done a lot of operations yesterday on the campsite, because of the heat, sometimes also alcohol and minor traumas. We expect to receive a lot of people there for fatigue and heat strokes ”.
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