BEATRICE – Planning for a potential onslaught of people during a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, isn’t easy.
That’s what’s facing Beatrice area organizations and public service officials during the upcoming full solar eclipse, August 21st….and the days just before it.
Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake says one aspect of that, is planning for a possible surge in emergency calls.
:11 “who knows?”
Daake says fire and police in Beatrice are planning to set up a command center in advance, using a tactic much like that used in a recent severe storm that did considerable damage across southeast Nebraska.
:21 “storm, as well”
The eclipse happens Monday, August 21st. But, preparations include activities that will go on during the weekend, August 19th and 20th. Several locations will serve as camping areas for those coming to the area, and events are scheduled at the Homestead National Monument of America and in communities around the region.
Daake says on average, the local fire and rescue department sees about seven EMS calls, per day. But, if thousands more people flock to the area, that number could go much higher.
:15 “ahead of the game, there”
Extra staff will be on duty in Beatrice Police and Fire and Rescue during the weekend leading up to the eclipse. Daake says the planning is still somewhat fluid, based on other needs.
:22 “we can get”
Chief Daake says he plans to have a medical unit stationed in west Beatrice to cover the area of Southeast Community College and the Gage County Fairgrounds.
The major uncontrollable factor regarding crowd size……is the weather. Beatrice is in the path of totality for the eclipse, and has one of the longest periods during which the full eclipse will be in effect.