[Masthead] Fair ~ 66°F  
High: 79°F ~ Low: 61°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Fun, confusion at Fair

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Confusion broke out at the Bedford County Fair when several persons were briefly stranded on rides after a malfunctioning generator shocked a carnival employee Wednesday night.



(Photo)
Medical personnel load a woman into an ambulance after she fainted Wednesday night at the Bedford County Fair.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
At the same time, a woman passed out nearby in an unrelated incident, bystanders and rescue workers said.

Emergency dispatchers received reports of a man who had been "electrocuted," another unconscious person and individuals stranded on rides about 9:45 p.m.

Shelbyville police radioed to a dispatcher upon arrival that they couldn't find anyone stuck on rides. No additional emergency crews were called.

"An employee received a severe shock when trying to repair a generator. He is okay and is back at work," Pat Wasson, office manager of Mega Rides, said moments after emergency medical personnel and Shelbyville police arrived at Bedford County Agricultural Center's grounds.

"That was just a misunderstanding," Fair president Judy Gambill said this morning. "It was just an electrical shock. He got up and went right to work."

"We got to the top of the Zipper and the power shuts off," fair attendee Justin Hall said. "It came back on and shut off again a few seconds later." Several people gathered at the fair's entrance said they were stranded up to 20 minutes,

"No one was stranded on rides to my knowledge," Gambill said.

The T-G arrived within minutes after the initial call for help and found all rides operating normally except for one which was closed, dark and unattended.

(Photo)
The Zipper operates normally, with a line of fairgoers awaiting, moments after emergency workers were notified riders were trapped following a power outage.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
Emergency medical technicians were treating the woman in the area near the rides and generator.

"One woman fainted at the Himalaya," Wasson said. "They (carnival attendees) made a federal case out of it."

The T-G saw only the woman being carried to an ambulance. She did not appear to be in distress and the ambulance left the grounds at normal speed without emergency lights and siren. An emergency worker said he thought the woman was suffering from heat exhaustion.

Public address announcements are made periodically to remind visitors not to become overheated, according to Gambill.

"We remind them to watch out, use common sense and drink a lot of water," Gambill said.

"You don't need to report this," a visibly-angry Mega Rides employee told the T-G as the woman was loaded into the ambulance.

(Photo)
Carnival workers said a fellow employee was shocked while attempting to repair this generator Wednesday night.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
"They (employees) don't know anything -- no one knows anything but the owner," the employee said during attempts to interview workers near the generator. Those employees denied knowledge of the incident following the man's forceful admonishment.

The Times-Gazette was unable to locate the generator worker despite several walks through the area over a 30-minute period. The generator was unattended during that time.

The area affected is in the southern end of the carnival area around the larger rides.

Several within the crowd at the entrance were demanding refunds. They said carnival officials refused refunds but offered them free admission tonight. Gambill said the carnival operators are in charge of that portion of the fair.

"Considering the heat and electrical storm we had yesterday we did well to be up and going last night," Gambill said. "A few tents blew over, then the night went well. We had a very good day. Over 300 senior citizens were fed and Century Farms were honored."