AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department and Austin-Travis County EMS held a live news conference Thursday to discuss safety tips for the upcoming spring festival season.
Both APD and ATCEMS said they have taken proactive measures and will have staff in an around the festival to assist the public.
APD said there will be a large amount of pedestrians and vehicle traffic, so attendees should plan their routes accordingly and expect longer travel and wait times.
Attendees are advised to be aware of their surroundings and know where they are in case they need help, according to APD.
ATCEMS recommends attendees download the “What3words” app which will help first responders locate them in an emergency and to look for landmarks and business names around them if they do not have the app.
To avoid drinking and driving, APD said if attendees plan on consuming alcohol, they should have a plan to get home and make sure they are getting in the correct rideshare by checking the driver photo or license plate number.
Attendees are discouraged from taking any substance that was not prescribed to them and dispensed by a licensed pharmacy, ATCEMS said. Those who do intend to take substances which do not meet these criteria are advised by ATCEMS to assume they contain opiates, use them in a group and make sure Narcan is available.
In the event of an emergency, APD said attendees should not hesitate to call 911, but should use 311 or iReportAustin.com to report incidents which have already happened.
Lastly, ATCEMS recommend that attendees keep their phones charged and pay attention to the weather, making sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen as needed.
Every city department is gearing up for a busy spring festival season with many events scheduled over the next few weeks and months.
“As we welcome all these visitors and we plan for these events that add to the vibrancy of the city and bolster our economy, we recognize it puts an added strain on city resources,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said.
“Anytime we have a large event, where there is a lot of people, we are going to have a lot of officers there to keep it safe,” APD Assistant Chief Jeff Greenwalt said.
APD said during these events they will be properly staffed and ready to respond when needed.