Above the din of thousands of voices is the sound of a steel guitar and a southern twang. The Jam in the Valley annual country music fest draws boot-stompin’, cowboy hat wearin’ fans from Wyoming and neighboring counties to Buffalo Hill in the Hamlet of Varysburg.
While the venue provides security in the campgrounds and concert area – Southern Tier Security and CSC Security – JiTV also contracts with the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police for additional law enforcement detail, and Wyoming County Emergency Services as its emergency response team.
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Services, the county’s Health and Buildings and Codes departments, the Board of Supervisors, the New York State Department of Transportation, local fire and EMS (Emergency Medical Service) providers, and the State Police have been planning for the shindig since last year's ended.
“Due to the Public Assembly Permit required by the County's Local Law and other State and Local permits required for an event this size, there are many agencies involved in the planning and meetings occur throughout the year,” said Sheriff Greg Rudolph.
Over the course of the three-day Jam, approximately 450 total man-hours are dedicated to law enforcement. Of those hours, approximately 370 are by the Sheriff’s Office and 80 by the NYSP. The total number of man-hours aren’t tallied until after the final day.
Police provide enforcement in the campgrounds, stage area, and concert/crowd area. They also have a dispatcher at the command post, officers at traffic posts, and after-hours EMS security detail.
Although JiTV contracts for EMS services with local emergency responders, volunteer personnel from the North Java, Arcade, Wyoming, Sheldon, and Varysburg fire departments, and Bennington Fire Company also help out. In turn, JiTV makes a donation to each department.
While North Java firefighters provide basic life support services, advanced life support services are contracted with Monroe Ambulance. Bennington, Arcade and Varysburg’s members provide ATV units. Additionally, several other departments send EMTs to assist, says Emergency Services Director Anthony Santoro.
“On the fire side, Wyoming and Sheldon fire departments provide fire protection,” Santoro said. “The Wyoming Fire Department is providing a brush-type truck for any calls out in the campground area, while the Sheldon Fire Department is providing an engine for the fireworks Saturday night.”
There is EMS coverage 24/7 beginning at 10 a.m. July 5 through 10 a.m. July 9. Responders provide two different levels of service: off-peak hours, which consist of roughly four to six EMTs between 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily; and peak hours run from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily -- staffed with roughly 15 to 20 basic EMTs and three paramedics. The paramedics operate the rehab tent.
“This tent is to treat people who have over indulged themselves and get them back on their feet,” Santoro said. “This saves the issue we have had in the past with transporting all these patients to the hospital.”
To save the emergency room from being inundated with that type of patient, and people who may suffer from some degree of heatstroke, four EMS tents and an ATV unit is on hand throughout the event.
“We have the county command post in service and all calls for service are coordinated through that,” Santoro said. “Every year is vastly different on how busy we are. Some years we are swamped while others are pretty quiet.”
And this year?
Well...it’s safe to say that all emergency responders involved hope to have an uneventful time.