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Overheating to Underpacking, Medical Services Is Here to Help

By Barbara A. Schmitz

July 25, 2021 – Hot and humid. When those two combine in Oshkosh, you know that EAA AirVenture is here. With high humidity and temperatures for this week forecast to be in the high 80s and low 90s, one thing is important: the need to stay hydrated.

Mary Jeanne Trosky, chairman of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021’s Medical Services, said water, Propel, and juices are the best things to drink to stay hydrated. If people are out on the grounds when they start to feel overheated, they should sit down in the shade and have a drink until they start to feel better, Trosky said. They can also come into their main facility, which is air conditioned and located northeast of the FAA Control Tower. That building includes a room with beds and cots where people can lie down and rest.

Medical Services, more commonly known as First Aid, is manned by currently licensed doctors and registered nurses, and has three locations on the AirVenture grounds: northeast of the FAA Control Tower, in Camp Scholler, and in Ultralights, the latter of which handles things like giving out bandages and sunscreen.

The majority of people come into their facilities for things like sunburn, blisters, cuts and bruises, allergies or respiratory problems, rashes, or because they forgot to pack their medications, Trosky said. In the latter instance, one of their doctors will contact the patient’s doctor and order medications, which then will be delivered to the convention grounds. They also have dentists, ophthalmologists, and other specialists on call.

“We also wash out a lot of peoples’ eyes who put sunscreen on their foreheads and then start sweating,” Trosky said.

While they will not be providing COVID vaccinations, they ask people who have COVID-19 symptoms to come to their facilities, Trosky said. “If someone has symptoms, we will give them a mask, take them to the tent in back of the building, and place a call to another agency that will pick them up and screen them,” she said.

Each shift, about three doctors and four or five registered nurses are on hand at the Tower location. They are usually open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but they will often stay open an hour or so later when there are big events scheduled on the grounds, Trosky said.

Many of their medical volunteers are older and have been giving of their medical expertise for decades, often for multiple days each convention. But this year they also have some new volunteers starting, she said.

Trosky said she began volunteering at First Aid 39 years ago when she and her husband, Jim, then an airline pilot, came to the fly-in convention. “After a while I said I have to do something else besides look at airplanes,” she said. The following year, Jim joined her in volunteering, and he has been helping out with Medical Services logistics for 38 years.

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