JRS VOLUME #14; ISSUE #30Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 14, Issue #30 HEALTH & SAFETY
August 13, 2010
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
+ HEALTH AND SAFETY FAQ
+ BEING TAKEN FOR A (HELICOPTER) RIDE
+ RANTING AND RAILING
+ BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE BURN
+ WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY YOUR ID ON THE PLAYA
+ NOW TWEET THIS
+ THEY *KEY* PART OF PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE PLAYA
+ GET YOUR FILL OF FUEL
+ DR LASER LOVE
+ EMERGENCY CONTACT ON-PLAYA FAQ
+ I GOT STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS BACKLESS GOWN
+ ADOPT-AN-INTERSECTION IN BLACK ROCK CITY
+ FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
+ "911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY
+ JOIN US IN B.E.D. AND THE B.E.D. THEME CAMP CHALLENGE
+ THE BUREAU OF HEALTH PROTECTION SERVICES PERMIT INFORMATION
+ FIRE SAFETY GUIDELINES
+ HEALTH AND SAFETY SECTION AT BURNINGMAN.COM
+ HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A HEALTH DEPARTMENT PERMIT? READ ON!
+ MORE SAFETY OR EMERGENCY QUESTIONS?
CONNECT WITH BURNING MAN:
+ Burning Man on your favorite social networks
Granted, you're going to pretty much destroy yourself on playa, we know that. You're going to stay up too late, go too hard, not sleep enough, not drink enough water, abuse your feet, crash into something, put your you-know-what you-know-where in some ill-advised manner, and your nose is going to HATE you. It's part of the fun, right? Right.
Well, as much fun as this can be, do take care of yourselves ... and if you get in a bit over your head in one way or another, we're here to help with some quality advice from our head of Emergency Services, and a sympathetic pat on the back (that will sting the hell out of that sunburn).
The moral of the story here is: while there are professional medical services at your disposal, exercise radical self-reliance. Don't become a burden on others (besides drinking the last beer in the cooler) ... come prepared!
Be safe, be healthy, and Burn like hell!
HEALTH AND SAFETY FAQ
Q: What do I do if I get hurt or sick on the playa?
A: We hope, of course, that you won't get sick or hurt...but being radically self-reliant also means remembering to bring a first aid kit (http://bit.ly/Afd8M) and treating yourself or your campmates for minor first aid needs. Should your illness or injury be more severe than you can manage without help, there are Emergency Services Department (ESD) medical stations on the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas and at Center Camp. Look for the red LED cross on top of the buildings. These stations are staffed by emergency health providers (doctors, nurses, medics, etc.) and most donate their time and medical expertise as their gift to the community.
Q: What if they can't manage my problem?
A: If the on-site medical providers feel that you have a medical emergency that requires a higher level of care than can be provided on the playa, you may need to visit a hospital in Reno. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, that can be accomplished by either getting a ride from a friend or being transported by an ambulance or helicopter. Remember to bring your ID, insurance card, cell phone and wallet when you go. Also note that if you get transported by ambulance or helicopter you'll need to arrange for a friend to pick you up after your hospital visit. There are no shuttles from the hospitals back to the playa.
Q: Is there a clinic in Gerlach?
A: The Gerlach Medical Center http://bit.ly/XMdC is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 8 AM - 1 PM and 1:45 PM - 6:15 PM. This small family medicine clinic offers limited urgent care, laboratory, x-ray, and women's health services.
Q: Does the Gerlach Medical Center accept Insurance?
A: The Medical Center welcomes most private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, as well as several Nevada programs. A sliding fee schedule for low-income patients who do not have insurance is available. Identification and income information is needed to enroll in the sliding fee program.
Q: Where can I get a prescription filled?
A: It's best to bring adequate supplies that you need to the playa. Should you need to get a prescription refilled, though, often the closest pharmacies are in Fernley or Reno.
BEING TAKEN FOR A (HELICOPTER) RIDE
The most expensive ride on the playa is the one you never want to take: an emergency medical helicopter transport to one of the Reno hospitals. Even if you have insurance it still might leave you with a bill for several thousand dollars that your insurance won't cover. Of course it is considerably worse if you have no insurance at all since medically-necessary air transport may cost up to $20,000!
Every year, it seems, we hear a story or two of a Burner who gets airlifted off playa only to practically need to be resuscitated when they receive their bill. Given that only a few dozen get airlifted every year, your chances are good that you'll never need it but if you have a complicated pre- existing condition or just want to have some extra coverage "just in case" it is worth considering the Flight Plan Membership that Care Flight offers. Their program covers your entire family for $55/year and also applies to other air medical services in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Non-Nevada residents are eligible for this program. See their web site for all the details and fine print:
RANTING AND RAILING
If you are planning on building an elevated platform of any kind please make sure you plan for railings to be built on each level and that they need to be well designed and strong. We recommend you research the many styles, designs and ways to accomplish this. We trust you will come up with an option that fits the style and feel of your project. You can expect your platform to be inspected occasionally throughout the event to make sure that the railing is in place and appears safe. Why mention it? Because falling off the edge of a raised platform can be really embarrassing... and if they are really unlucky it can seriously injure them. And you don't want that to happen, right?
BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE MAN BURN
Burn night can be chaotic (to say the least) when everyone crowds around the Man. Big crowds can be so much fun but way less so when you need help and can't seem to find it. To take the guesswork out of finding help ESD has created safety contact points outside the Burn circle. One is located on the 3 o'clock side of the Man and the other is located on the 9 o'clock side of the Man. Both of them are along the promenade just on the edge of the crowd. Each contact point is marked by a bright blue rotating emergency beacon and both tend to be easily visible from the edge of the crowd. Each rally point has a host of resources dedicated to it in case there is a need, including Black Rock Rangers, Law Enforcement, ESD Medical, ESD Fire and REMSA. Just walk up and ask and the right resource will follow you back to where you need help, especially since finding a specific location in the mass of people is very difficult when it's solely based on a verbal report.
WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY YOUR ID ON THE PLAYA
Reasons? We gots three of them!
1. In case you get hurt on playa and get transported while unconscious we can identify you.
2. In case you get arrested and have to prove your identity to law enforcement.
3. If you're lucky enough to look under 21 and you want a drink in any camp that serves alcohol.
NOW TWEET THIS!
In addition to the great Facebook page and Twitter accounts Burning Man has, ESD has its own that it uses pre-event and on playa to communicate more specific information about health and safety. You may find it interesting if you're so inclined...
http://twitter.com/brc911 or @brc911
THE *KEY* PART OF PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE PLAYA
Every year, Burners some how, some ways lock their keys in their car (it happened least 100 times in 2009 alone). Worse yet, some flat out lose their keys -- big bummer and big $$$.
So, for a little playa preparation and to save you some time and money (upwards of $300 it has been rumored) to have a locksmith come out to help you,
MAKE AN EXTRA KEY. If you are renting a car - take the time to stop and get an extra key made or ask for one from the rental company. Then place the extra key in a secure location outside of your car when you arrive. Hassle avoided!
GET YOUR FILL OF FUEL
Here is some good advice on the storage of fuel:
Propane cylinders are designed to work best at a maximum fill of 70% -- over filling combined with higher altitude and extreme heat (sunlight) may cause a cylinder to self-vent through its pressure relief system. Since propane is heavier than air (when in a gaseous state) it will seek low ground when vented.
Liquid fuels will likewise expand in their containers when exposed to sunlight and heat. Don't fill tanks or containers to capacity - leave room for expansion. Liquid fuel containers also need to have a lined overflow berm built up around them, so should any fuel expand and escape the container it will be caught rather than seep into the playa. The berms should be lined with a tarp or plastic to prevent fuel from soaking into the playa. If a significant amount of fuel is released - contact ESD and we'll send our Hazardous Materials Unit out to assess (a significant amount is enough that it does not evaporate rapidly i.e. it remains in a puddle).
Most importantly: Store fuels in well ventilated and shaded areas with a fire extinguisher nearby. And of course away from ignition sources.
DR LASER LOVE
...or how I learned to play with lasers safely.
Yes, we all love us some lasers on the playa, but before you fire up your light show, please do some basic homework to ensure your project is safe. Lasers are by no means toys and they can cause blindness, fires and other problems if set up improperly or if the incorrect equipment is used. Remember to install the lasers in such a way that they point above eye level, as the beam can temporarily or permanently blind people.
Get ready by checking out some on-line laser safety resources:
On-line Courses: http://bit.ly/bEA0k
Laser Light Show Safety: http://bit.ly/xi7h8
If you are going to have a laser set up on-playa and no one in your camp is a laser professional consider these tips:
* Use the lowest power laser that will effectively work for your needs and use it at the lowest power settings to accomplish your effect.
* Treat laser operations as a serious safety matter.
* Ensure all operators are sober.
* Designate a laser safety officer to make sure your lasers are being operated safely.
* If your laser operates automatically or without an operator, having a laser safety officer monitoring the system is just as important to ensure nothing goes wrong with its safe operation.
If you have related non-technical questions about the use of lasers at Burning Man, please direct them to:
EMERGENCY CONTACT ON-PLAYA FAQ
Q: Where should I go to check for emergency messages that might be waiting for me?
A: The only place on-playa that serves as a central collection point for emergency messages is Playa Info. While the Rangers, ESD, REMSA or Law Enforcement *may* have the relevant information only Playa Info serves as the clearinghouse for all such messages.
Q: What if friends or family at home need to reach me for an emergency?
A: Unfortunately, given the nature of the event, finding a participant on the playa is usually quite challenging. Cell phones often don't work and people don't generally have satellite phones. There is limited Internet access. Now add the fact that addresses on the playa are inexact even if you *do* know where you're camping ahead of time and finding a person's camp can become very difficult. Preparation will help you stay in touch in an emergency.
Q: How can friends or family send me a message?
A: Emergency messages should be sent via http://911.burningman.com/ . The message will be passed to the Black Rock Rangers who, if they have the extra resources, will attempt to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you're awaiting bad news or anticipating emergency messages, you might want to plan to check in there each day.
Q: What details should be included in an emergency message?
A: The message should include first and last name as well as any known nickname that you might go by around camp. It should also include the name of your theme camp or other affiliation (volunteer team, etc.), and its location if known, along with your vehicle make/license plate and any other unique features that will help with the search (such as, "camp has a 20 foot inflatable duck," etc.)
Q: What can prevent me from getting the message?
A: Just a few of the variables that can get in the way: your camp relocates, or nobody's ever in camp when we come to find you; your camp spot is obscured from view by other camps; the 20 foot inflatable duck deflates due to a leak; there are three camps with 20-foot inflatable ducks, and none of the neighbors know anyone named "Chris" because you have been introducing yourself all week as "Captain Underpants, Lord of the Duck People!" You get the picture.
In other words, you're heading to the middle of the desert, and there is no guarantee that we'll be able to deliver a message in an emergency; it's important to weigh that before you leave home. If you are awaiting news, you can actively check in at Playa Info, and in truly dire circumstances, you can take the bus into Gerlach to use the pay phone, cellular coverage, or free wifi coverage there.
I GOT STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS BACKLESS GOWN
So you wake up and you realize you are in a hospital bed. Then you remember that you didn't put any money or your mobile phone in the pockets of your fun fur outfit you wore out to the party by the trash fence. Worse yet, now you are being told you are going to be discharged in 24 hours. How do you get back to the playa?
Your friends on the playa of course! But how to get a message to them? Simply call (866) 580-5350 and follow the instructions to leave a message. Instantly your message gets transmitted to Playa Info, the Rangers, Emergency Services and the Gerlach Burning Man office. If anyone contacts us looking for you at any of these places, we'll be able to relay a message to the parties looking for you so they can send a rescue party to pick up you (and more beer) in Reno.
Please note, if you have access to email please contact us that way instead of via a voice mail as we have no easy way of calling you back at the hospital, especially if they discharge you.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE MISSING ON PLAYA?
The only place on-playa that serves as a central collection point for emergency messages is Playa Info. While the Rangers, ESD, REMSA or Law Enforcement *may* have the relevant information only Playa Info serves as the clearinghouse for all such messages.
ADOPT-AN-INTERSECTION IN BLACK ROCK CITY
Unfortunately some people like to steal the street signs from BRC on their way out of the event. While this may be a cool souvenir for some it causes havoc for the medical crews, fire trucks, Black Rock Rangers and other resources by making it difficult to find the location of those who need help in an emergency.
We'd really implore everyone, as a best-case scenario, to leave the street signs where they are on your way out of the city. Obviously most people are not guilty of stealing street signs, but there will always be those that persist... so we are asking some of you wonderful and awesome burners to help by adopting an intersection.
A simple way to help everyone...
The idea was inspired a few years ago when participants spontaneously improvised street signs to make it possible to navigate the city in absence of the originals. Using some cardboard, a marker, and some duct tape it's possible to make a legible replacement with just a little effort, if you find a sign that's missing. It will not only help all the emergency responders but it will also be of great help to your fellow citizens of Black Rock City. It's a small act that makes a big difference.
FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
Are you planning on using two-way radio for any reason (greater than 5 watts) on the playa? The Emergency Services Department coordinates spectrum and systems to alleviate and proactively avoid interference between various projects on-playa and the Burning Man radio infrastructure.
Please note that in general, we do not coordinate AM or FM broadcast radio, WiFi, HAM, FRS (aka Talkabouts), CB, or RC bands. However if you are planning a high power radio application in any of these bands please let us know so we can isolate the signal in the RF noise floor in case of interference.
Please contact ESD Communications at http://911.burningman.com/ if you have questions or to register your frequency request.
"911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY
If you heard a rumor that there is cellular phone coverage in Gerlach, your source would be right. If you have Nextel, AT&T or Verizon service, you'll be able to call 911 in case you need to report an emergency along parts of State Route 447, Gerlach or State Route 34.
On the very off chance you have a powerful enough phone to get a signal out in Black Rock City please do not call 911 for problems within the event site. The dispatch center you would eventually reach doesn't manage the available resources on playa. It's far faster to flag down a Ranger or send someone to fetch help at a Ranger Outpost or ESD Station. That said, there is a way to directly call for help wirelessly since ESD monitors a designated emergency channel on the license-free MURS (Multi User Radio Service) radio band.
MURS is a service similar to FRS (Family Radio Service, the frequencies that Motorola Talkabouts and similar radios use). FRS is extremely overcrowded and it's in use by thousands of participants during the event. FRS radios are also not powerful enough to effectively communicate throughout Black Rock City. MURS, in contrast, is currently not in common usage and legally can operate at a higher power so it can communicate across the entire playa.
We hope that reserving this "911" channel before MURS use becomes widespread at Burning Man will set the expectation that this channel will be for emergency use only. You will need to purchase your own MURS radio to contact ESD 911, but the other four MURS channels can also be just like FRS radios for other purposes. Large camps or villages might also choose to make one part of their group planning efforts and store it in a public place for emergency use.
Why do I want one of these when my FRS radio works just fine?
* If you're part of a large theme camp it could be a good investment to have a MURS radio around to call 911 for your group, especially if you have members who have known health issues or the risk of injury is of special concern.
* Large art projects working out on the open playa will be able to get help faster.
* Camps that are on the outer-rings of the city are far from a Emergency Services station don't have to send runners for help when an emergency arises.
* The other 4 channels on MURS can be a great alternative to the overcrowded FRS channels, especially if your camp has an art-car or event-wide project they want to coordinate.
* Emergency Services Dispatch cannot be reached on an FRS radio.
Calling 911 on a MURS radio:
Set your MURS radio to channel 5 (154.600 MHz, CTCSS/PL 97.4) to reach the Black Rock City Emergency Services Dispatch. Each brand has its own labeling system so please refer to your user manual to see how CTCSS/PL 97.4 is labeled. Common labels are: Code 11, 12, ZB, C, or C05. Using any other "privacy codes" on channel 5 will interfere with 911. Instead limit your personal use to channels 1-4.
FOR ALL MURS USERS: we ask that all Burning Man participants respect that channel 5 will be used as a 911 channel only. While the other channels are fine for use as an alternative to FRS we want to stress that channel 5 on MURS please be kept open for emergencies and not used for any other purpose.
An example of a compatible radio:
Dakota Alert MURS portable (operational controls just like common FRS radios, with selectable channel and code on the display) $99 http://bit.ly/bmgDqI
If you have further questions or need help in finding a source for radios, please contact us for more information at:
THE BUREAU OF EROTIC DISCOURSE IS SEEKING B.E.D. BUDDIES
Come peek under our sheets!
Remember the signs in the porta-potties last year talking about how you can help prevent sexual assault? That was us! Remember the 'Clarity and Consent' workshops? That was us too! Maybe you got a sassy button from us talking about how "Even Porn Stars Ask First"?
Great news! We're back with our sex-positive message for 2010, and B.E.D. needs YOU (and you too, hot stuff!). We need your help to spread our message: If you're gonna have sex at Burning Man, we want to help you make sure it is incredible, consensual, hair-raising, amazing, consensual, hot, thrilling, CONSENSUAL sex!
There are many ways to climb into B.E.D! Head over to our Facebook page to join in the discussion. Check out our website, http://www.bureauoferoticdiscourse.org, and perhaps consider supporting us with a donation. You can also support us buy purchasing our playful B.E.D. gear to wear and show the citizens of BRC that YOU care about preventing sexual assault in our fair city. You will find all these links on our website.
Would you like to volunteer with us? Come to the volunteer orientation at our B.E.DrOOm at 12:00 noon on Tuesday. Look for the giant pink BED, conveniently located at the Dept. of Tethered Aviation, 9:00 on Ring Road, where it intersects 6:30 and Athens (near Center Camp).
The B.E.D. Theme Camp Challenge!
B.E.D. challenges all Burning Man Theme Camps to make sexual assault education part of their camp business. We are asking every camp to gather your members and discuss the issues and responsibilities of sexual exploration at Burning Man. How do you broach this sensitive subject? We have developed a short outline to help you out. Find it here:
Sign your camp up today!
B.E.D. thanks you for your help in continuing the Burning Man tradition of creating a city where we look out for each other and can explore our boundaries while feeling safely supported!"
THE BUREAU OF HEALTH PROTECTION SERVICES PERMIT INFORMATION
If you are planning to make and give away food to the public on the playa - drinks made from fresh squeezed juice, or even snow cones, you will need a permit from the Nevada State Health Division. You'll now find documents designated with a special flame icon specifically tailored for Burning Man on the Health Division's website. Here are the details and deadlines for this process from Cindy Ulch with the Nevada State Health Division's Frontier and Rural Public Health Program:
The only application any camp needs is the "Temporary Food Establishment Application for Food Vendor at Burning Man" found at http://health.nv.gov/BFHS_EHS.htm
Via Mail: we must have sufficient time to be able to process the application and send back a letter of confirmation. So they need to be received at Cindy's office in Winnemucca no later than one week before the event - MONDAY AUGUST 23TH.
Don't wait till the last minute. It would be a shame to have to cancel your plans, our even risk being cited for a health violation. That mailing address is NSHD - FaR Health 475 West Haskell Street Suite 52, Winnemucca, NV 89445.
In person: no later than THURSDAY AUGUST 26TH - 4150 Technology Way Suite 100 Carson City, NV. Phone: (775) 687-7550 or 475 West Haskell Street Suite 38 or 52 Winnemucca, NV. Phone (775) 623-6588.
After mailing the application and $50 USD payment, all anyone needs to do is come and pick up their permit at Playa Info in Center Camp during the following days and hours: Monday August 30th through Friday September 3rd 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
We do this so that we can get an accurate camp location from which to do inspections. WE are NOT issuing new permits at Playa Info.
IMPORTANT: a number of camps last year did not complete the permit process by picking up their permit at playa info and receiving their inspection. Not completing the process is the same as not being permitted. Don't be shut down or issued a notice of violation. You must pick up your permit, provide an accurate location and be inspected to be in compliance.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A HEALTH DEPARTMENT PERMIT? READ ON!
Are you planning anything requiring large amounts of water?
Are you hosting a large kitchen?
Are you giving away food?
Are you serving quantities of drinks over ice?
Large quantities of water (250 gallons+) being used for projects that entail full body contact or consumption by people must be "potable" and come from state health department approved water sources.
Water being used for misting systems, slip and slides and things that do not involve consumption do not need health department clearance. It is wise to make sure that you have "potable" water and the source is reputable!
Large public pools and showers will not be permitted. Art pieces involving water are not considered pools or showers unless they are labeled such and encourage bathing.
KITCHENS/ BARS or DRINKS
If you are providing beverages and/or food for your camp and friends, no health permit is needed.
PUBLIC kitchens of any sort need a permit. Remember, Burning Man does not allow the sale of anything at the event, including food. We have cultivated a gift economy. If you are caught selling or bartering food like currency the health department will shut you down -- if your neighbors don't get to you first!
If you are giving food to the public you need a permit. Your CAMPMATES and FRIENDS are the only people you can give food to without health department clearance.
FRESH SQUEEZED JUICES
If you are giving away freshly-squeezed fruit drinks to anyone other than your CAMPMATES and FRIENDS, you must get a permit.
Ice is considered food by the health department. Although there should be no permits needed for bars, your ice source must be approved by state health. The easiest way to comply is to purchase your ice from commercial sources in the surrounding towns as you enter our city, or from us at the event. (Monies from our ice sales go directly back to the town of Gerlach as a gift.)
FIRE SAFETY GUIDELINES
Yes, this is Burning Man. Fire plays a big part in the event. So does fire safety and common sense. But since common sense isn't always common, please read these guidelines carefully.
Fire Safety In Your Camp
Part of the fun of Burning Man is gathering around a fire at night, meeting folks, sharing a story, and enjoying the warmth. As nice as that sounds, there's a lot of responsibility involved, too.
Fire in theme camps is a serious matter and we caution you to take care in the planning of any open flame in theme camps. There must be someone who is responsible and present at all time to monitor any fire in your camp and be prepared to completely extinguish it if wind conditions pick up. At least 5 gallons of water must be kept close for this purpose.
Please remember that any fires found unattended or without water nearby -- or burning in an unsafe manner -- may be extinguished.
Fire and open flame present a unique set of challenges on the playa. Wind is an ever-present aspect of the Black Rock desert, and with little warning, can blow sparks and embers from fire-barrels and across our city great distances until they settle against something (tents, shade structures, camping gear, art works, etc). This is VERY scary in a tent city!
Wind is also a factor with tiki-torches, candles and taller flame effects -- and precautions should be taken to prevent these things from being knocked or blown over. A sufficient perimeter should be kept clear of all flammables. To help you prepare to have open flame or flame effects in your camp, here are some guidelines to help keep everyone in Black Rock City safe:
Note: All camps that have Open Fire or Flame Effects are asked to check in at the Artery in center-camp to receive an inspection from a Fire Art Safety Team member.
HEALTH AND SAFETY SECTION AT BURNINGMAN.COM
Check out our web site more information on health and safety related issues. There are all kinds of topics covered, including pregnancy, rebar safety, first-aid kits and fuel storage:
MORE SAFETY OR EMERGENCY QUESTIONS?
Feel free to contact the Emergency Services Department if you have any questions that are not answered here or on our web site:
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Soundtrack for this JRS: M. Ward, Beach Fossils