Tri-State Doubles Staff for Oktoberfest - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tri-State Doubles Staff for Oktoberfest

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW)— La Crosse's population nearly doubles during Oktoberfest, so in order to keep everyone safe, Tri-State Ambulance doubles its staff during the fest.  

For things to run smoothly during Oktoberfest weekend, planning begins long before that golden keg is tapped.

"Several months out it starts with being able to up staff," said Jay Clark, an operations supervisor for Tri-State. "At one point, we have almost every unit in our fleet out in service. So it starts with maintenance, making sure all our trucks are up and running, all our equipment is in place."

That way what the calls come in, all units are ready to respond.

Clark says about 70-percent of calls during Oktoberfest are alcohol related.

"People do things they wouldn't typically do if they were drinking," Clark said. "Whether it be running or jumping over something they wouldn't typically be jumping over."

And while organizers of Oktoberfest measure success in sales and attendance, Clark and his collogues have a different measure for success.

"There's more parts to making it successful, and that would be not only do all the fest goers go home safe, but all our people, all those from other communities, whether it be police, fire, they're all here to help ensure that safety," Clark said.

It's a goal Tri-State, along with the police and fire departments work all day and night to achieve.

"It's a little bit stressful," Clark said. "The time flies pretty quick, that's for sure."

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