Police, ambulance services receive fewer requests this Oktoberfest

Requests for services down from years past

Overall responses by both police and Tri-State Ambulance for Oktoberfest were down compared to years past.
Police say there’s always room for improvement, but it’s a trend the city hopes to continue.
Oktoberfest weekend usually brings an uptick in response calls for local police.

“The weekend prior to Oktoberfest, we had a little over 400 calls for service, and this weekend, we had approximately 1,600 calls for service, so obviously our numbers significantly increase.” said Officer Lisa Barrix of the La Crosse Police Department.

While the final numbers are not in, police say they are down from past years.

“Overall it was a pretty good weekend,” said Barrix. “Everyone seemed to have a good time, we had our general things, but it was pretty calm, Everybody was pretty well behaved for the most part.”

For Tri-State Ambulance, it’s a similar story.

“We’re glad to see that people are still having fun, but they are doing so more safely,” said Crystal Wallin of Tri-State Ambulance. “Perhaps we can attribute that to the cold weather, perhaps people made better choices, or maybe kept an eye on their groups of friends better.”

Both police and ambulance services say better planning is a big part of the calm weekend.

“We have so planned for this,” said Wallin. “We have so many more boots on the ground, we have contingency plans, we have mobile people, people that are stationed at first aid stations, bike teams. So we are super-prepared for this. It went really well.”
“We’ve learned over the years. We’ve changed things up a bit. We have quite a few extra people that come in and assist us from other agencies.” said Barrix.

The numbers aren’t where police and ambulance services would like, but it’s a good sign for future festers.

“Hopefully it’s just an overall shift in attitude. Come, have a good time, and stay out of trouble, but I also believe it has something to do with the planning we put into this, and the education, we talk to people. Labeling what the offenses are, and what the fine amounts are, and what we expect of people, so I’m hoping that’s made a difference.” said Barrix.
Local hospitals also released their final figures for the weekend.
Gundersen reported 30 detox patients, while Mayo saw 35 alcohol-related incidents.
The fire department also saw a 125 percent increase in responses compared to an average weekend.
There is no word on whether their total decreased from last year’s Oktoberfest.