by Geoff Rushton
State Patty’s Day weekend was a busy one for Centre LifeLink EMS personnel, but overall calls during the student-created drinking holiday were down from last year.
Even though the total number was down, however, there were more alcohol-related calls this year.
Centre LifeLink was dispatched to 50 calls between 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. on Sunday, the organization reported. That’s only a little more than half of the number from 2017, when EMS responded to 95 calls during the same period.
This year, however, brought a greater percentage of alcohol-related calls. About 80 percent, or 40 of the 50 calls, were alcohol-related, “meaning that the patient had overdosed on alcohol or had suffered some other illness or injury that was related to alcohol consumption,” according to Centre LifeLink
In 2017, about one-third of the 95 calls were alcohol-related.
Even though the total number of EMS calls were down, the weekend still created some problems for emergency medical response.
State College Police Capt. Chris Fishel said on Saturday afternoon that there was a 10-minute wait for ambulances due to State Patty’s related calls.
“Unfortunately, what that will do is people who are having heart attacks or other events are being delayed also because of the poor decisions of people who are doing other things,” he said.
State College and Penn State police have not yet released their total numbers of calls for service and arrests from the weekend.