EDC + high heat = dangers this weekend - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

EDC + high heat = dangers this weekend

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The Electric Daisy Carnival grounds were decorated with lit amusements and stages in the infield of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 21, 2015. (Source: aLive Coverage for Insomniac) The Electric Daisy Carnival grounds were decorated with lit amusements and stages in the infield of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 21, 2015. (Source: aLive Coverage for Insomniac)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

It's mid-June and time for the Electric Daisy Carnival to return to the valley.

Temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees and the heat could pose an even bigger danger to thousands of visitors flooding the city for EDC. The risk is even higher if they're not drinking enough water or taking too much of something else, and even though medics are on site, the festival can be a challenge for first responders. 

Sam Schiller is the CEO of Guardian Elite Medical Services, a company that provides on-site medical help for special events. Schiller said he knows exactly what happens inside music festivals. 

"We see a lot of exhaustion," Schiller said. "They're partying in the day, they party at night. They want that real Las Vegas experience."

On the surface it's just fun costumes and electronic dance music, but some things can slip through the cracks and in Las Vegas, it's amplified in the dry heat.

"So when you're out in the heat and then you end up taking a drug like ecstasy, it will increase the body temperature," Schiller said. "When you have the outside factors like you're in a crowd, you will see an increase in body temperature."

That's where the danger comes. Every drug yields a different reaction and when treating overdoses, EMT's don't always know what the patient is on, so they treat what they see initially.

"As a paramedic ... What we're going to look for is signs of what the patient is presenting. When we have somebody that is passed out our immediate reaction is making sure that they have an airway that they're breathing and they have a pulse."

Drug use is strictly prohibited inside EDC, but drug education groups like Colorodo based on-profit Dance Safe said things happen, sometimes even before walking into the event.

"People might have four pills in their pocket, they're planning on taking two to start, maybe one later," Mitchell Gomez of Dance Safe said. "Then they see security and they immediately panic and take all four."

Dance Safe has been criticized in the past because they offer services such as on-site pill testing, so that users know exactly what they're taking.

"It's important for people to know when they're consuming," Gomez said. "Substances can have radically different safety profiles, different dosages."

The group isn't allowed to set up inside EDC but provide drug testing kits online.  

Neither first responders nor Dance Safe promotes drug use, but both asked for the community to be safe and pay attention to close friends.

"You may see something in somebody that they may not be able to recognize."

This is also the first year of EDC after marijuana was legalized, Metro PD said festival-goers will be cited if caught smoking weed in a public place such as EDC.  

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