Multi-agency partners want to ensure a safe Belladrum Festival 2014

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service work closely with all other agencies prior to and during the festival in order to enhance public safety

Belladrum Multi Agency Pic

Caption: (left to right) Belladrum Festival Director Joe Gibbs, Police Scotland Chief Inspector Mark Mackay, Area Commander for Inverness, Scottish Ambulance Service's Local Area Service Manager Jim Quate, Senior Services Manager for Northern Scotland at British Red Cross Nigel Stafford, Environmental Health Officer for Highland Council Patricia Sheldon, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manage John MacDonald 

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) are part of a multi-agency group which will be working closely to ensure this year’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is a safe and enjoyable experience.

The festival, now in its 11th year, takes place at Belladrum Estate, by Beauly, over the weekend of Friday 8 and Saturday 9 August and is expected to attract around 17,000 people daily.

Multi-agency partners consisting of SFRS, Police Scotland, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Scottish Ambulance Service and the British Red Cross would like to reassure people attending and working at the event that all appropriate measures will be in place to maximise public safety.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager John MacDonald wants everyone to enjoy a fire free Belladrum.

He said: "First and foremost the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service hope that everyone has a fun and safe experience at Belladrum 2014.

"With safety in mind there are few things we would like to remind festival goers. Tents can be 'gone in 60 seconds' and are particularly susceptible to fire so it is extremely important that tents are not pitched too closely together as this will prevent fire spreading from one tent to another.

"We urge people not to smoke or cook inside or close to tents and take care to ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them. Never use candles in or near a tent - torches are safer. It is also essential that all camping should be within designated areas ensuing that pathways and fire lanes are kept clear."

He added: "Camp fires are prohibited and if cooking you must do so in the designated barbecue areas. If under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please allow one of the many caterers to cook for you.

"Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and disposable barbeques along with other fuel burning appliances give off this poisonous gas. Never take disposable barbeques into a tent or campervan even when they are cooling down. We would also remind people about the dangers associated with camping gas canisters if they are not used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

"Should any festival goers have to report an emergency and call 999 it is important that they give their exact location using key landmarks on the main site or the colour of the camping zone to help us respond effectively. Festival stewards and safety personnel are there to ensure the safety of everyone and I urge all festival goers to act responsibly and comply with the guidance provided. Enjoy the festival and stay safe."

You can download Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Summer Safety leaflet here and further fire safety information is available on www.firescotland.gov.uk

Police Scotland’s Event Commander, Chief Inspector Mark Mackay, will lead the police operation at the festival.

He said: "We will be employing our tried and tested community policing approach to local Summer Musical Festivals, with the focus of keeping people safe, however together with stewards we will take action as required to prevent disorder and anti-social or criminal behaviour which compromises safety or spoils the event for others.

"Belladrum is a family festival with large numbers of young people in attendance, therefore it is additionally important to drink responsibly and we will take appropriate action if we come across underage drinking.

“Festival goers are reminded that the terms and conditions of purchased tickets clearly state that persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on entering the festival venue and at all times while attending the festival.

“Know the whereabouts of youngsters under your supervision and assist the police and other agencies in ensuring that no young person comes to any harm."

Keep Safe Festival advice is available on the Police Scotland website and will be displayed around the Belladrum site and provides practical information on personal safety:

Chief Inspector Mackay concluded: "By following our Keep Safe Festival advice it will help to make the Belladrum Festival 2014 an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience for everyone and we all have a part to play in making sure this happens."

Debbie Stewart, co-ordinator for the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (HADP), said: "Our message to everyone attending this year's Belladrum festival is that we hope you have a great time, enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere.

"We urge you to eat well, drink plenty of water and stay safe. The best way to stay safe is to drink sensibly. You can pace yourself by drinking slowly, avoid mixing drinks, switch between alcohol and soft drinks or shift to lower strength of alcohol.

"Don't take unnecessary risks and avoid taking drugs. Substances like ecstasy and cocaine can cause dehydration and overheating, especially when mixed with alcohol and taken whilst dancing in warm temperatures. Also, just because a substance claims to be legal, it doesn't mean it is, and it doesn't mean it is safe. Many so called legal highs contain illegal substances and research chemicals that haven't been tested but are known to cause harm.”

She added: “If someone is unable to avoid taking drugs or alcohol sensibly; then make sure you know what you are taking, be aware of the amount you are taking and be aware of the risk of becoming ill or overdosing. Make sure you keep an eye on your friends. If you do notice someone becoming ill, please seek help straight away."

Lorraine Mann, NHS Highland senior health promotion specialist, said: "Remember to take a supply of condoms with you, even if you think you're not likely to need them. Things can change a lot over the course of a weekend. It may be quite difficult to get condoms once you're there. Condoms can protect women from getting pregnant and can protect everyone from getting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

"It is especially important during the warm summer months for festival goers to enjoy the sun safely. Avoid getting burnt by the sun by covering up or staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.”

She added: “Use sun screen to help prevent getting burnt, using at least a factor 15 and remember to re-apply regularly. Take extra care with children as their skin is delicate and keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water."

Anne Eadie, Events First Aid Services Manager with British Red Cross said: "The British Red Cross works very closely with its partners to ensure festival goers are as safe as possible. We want everyone's Belladrum experience to be safe and enjoyable.

"This summer has been one of the warmest for many years, but we would urge revellers to check out the forecast before going. It can get very cold at night, especially if it rains so bring something to keep you dry.

“We can't stress enough how important it is to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is something we witness a lot at festivals so don't let it spoil your weekend. If you don't feel well then make sure you tell a friend or go to one of the First Aid posts for help."

Iain Mackay Resilience Adviser at the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "Anyone taking medication should let their friends know what it is and make sure that they bring enough with them to the festival.

“Everyone should keep hydrated, whether or not it's sunny and bring clothing for all conditions."

David Haas, Highland Council's Acting Head of Community and Democratic Engagement said: "Highland Council is pleased to work again with our multi-agency planning partners and the Belladrum event organisers to help deliver a successful festival for all to enjoy in a safe and friendly environment. The Council welcomes the positive profile and significant benefits to the City of Inverness and the wider Highlands that Belladrum brings to the region."

 

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